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City of Whitehorse says landslide mitigation is on schedule

Temporary opening of Robert Service Way to be considered
An excavator was at the rim of the Whitehorse Escarpment overlooking the closed portion of Robert Service Way on May 9. It is tasked with digging benches to descend about eight metres below the rim and then removing an unstable portion of earth. (Jim Elliot/Yukon News)

The plan to remove an unstable portion of the Whitehorse escarpment using an excavator is proceeding, leading to further consideration of a partial reopening of the closed section of Robert Service Way.

Last week, the city announced its plan to have an excavator dig benches down from the top of the escarpment that would allow it to access the unstable portions remaining after the April 8 landslide that closed the road. The city published a May 9 public service announcement explaining that this work, entrusted to P.S. Sidhu Trucking Ltd., is proceeding as scheduled with the machine nearing the top of the tension crack and expected to begin removing the material in the next few days.

“By reducing this risk, we can continue to plan for a temporary reopening of Robert Service Way,” the city statement reads.

“Overall, conditions along Robert Service Way look to be stabilizing as crews are observing minimal sloughing and the soil appears to be drying. Residents are reminded to respect trail and road closures as there are still areas of concern.”

Monitoring of the entire escarpment is ongoing including along Drury Street and in Takhini.

The city has also been trying to tame the morning traffic caused by the closure of the south access to downtown by changing the timing of the traffic light controlled intersections of Two Mile Hill Road and Range Road, and Two Mile Hill Road and the Alaska Highway. The timing has seen further adjustments at the recommendation of the city’s consultants following observation.

The intersections remain busy and the city is urging people to travel in non-peak hours when possible.

Contact Jim Elliot at

Jim Elliot

About the Author: Jim Elliot

I’m a B.C. transplant here in Whitehorse at The News telling stories about the Yukon's people, environment, and culture.
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