The Fairbanks, Alaska, area has many contaminated sites in a shallow alluvial aquifer. A ground-water flow model is being developed using the MODFLOW finite-difference ground-water flow model program with the River Package. The modeled area is discretized in the horizontal dimensions into 118 rows and 158 columns of approximately 150-meter square cells. The fine grid spacing has the advantage of providing needed detail at the contaminated sites and surface-water features that bound the aquifer. However, the fine spacing of cells adds difficulty to simulating interaction between the aquifer and the large, braided Tanana River. In particular, the assignment of a river head is difficult if cells are much smaller than the river width. This was solved by developing a procedure for interpolating and extrapolating river head using a river distance function. Another problem is that future transient simulations would require excessive numbers of input records using the current version of the River Package. The proposed solution to this problem is to modify the River Package to linearly interpolate river head for time steps within each stress period, thereby reducing the number of stress periods required.