Sections of the Yukon’s North Klondike Highway that were shut down due to multiple landslides have partially reopened over the weekend.
At least 10 landslides hit along a stretch of the highway, according to the territorial department of Highways and Public Works by email on Sept. 26.
In the email, officials say heavy rainfall prompted the landslides by oversaturating the soil and making it too heavy to hold.
In addition, the email said, some of the landslides took place where old wildfires had happened. Wildfires remove the top layer of vegetation and make the slope more prone to sliding.
As of noon on Sept. 26, Highway 2 is reopen to all vehicles. It is down to single-lane traffic between kilometers 666 to 674, approximately 10 kilometres south of the Dempster Highway cutoff, and kilometres 693 to 696, slightly north of the Dempster Highway cutoff at Rock Creek.
There are no time restrictions for the southern section, however the northern section is closed overnight.
Vehicles are being piloted between kilometres 693 to 696 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The limited hours are due to some “potential hazards” on the road.
The highway is still being assessed and debris is still being cleared to ensure the road is safe for travel before fully reopening.
The full cost of repairs has yet to be determined.
The department cited several landslides and slope instability that began on Sept. 22 for the initial closures.
The department confirmed by email Sept. 23 that helicopters were used as an emergency measure to transport up to 40 people who were stuck between the road closures into the Dawson City airport.
The department has been directing the public to watch for highway updates on Yukon 511 and Facebook.
Contact Dana Hatherly at firstname.lastname@example.org