Boulevard bumps to be fixed

Part of Whitehorse’s Hamilton Boulevard extension will be torn up and repaved before winter. This is the second time in two years the extension, which connects Copper Ridge to the Lobird Trailer Park roundabout, will be touched up.

Part of Whitehorse’s Hamilton Boulevard extension will be torn up and repaved before winter.

This is the second time in two years the extension, which connects Copper Ridge to the Lobird Trailer Park roundabout, will be touched up.

Pesky bumps have popped up again.

When driving, the bulges can feel similar to frost heaves like those that decorate the highway around Beaver Creek and other places.

But in this case, the culprit appears to be permafrost melting far below the road’s surface, causing some parts to sink and others to swell.

“What is happening on the Hamilton Boulevard extension is settlement,” said Wayne Tuck, manager of engineering and environmental services with the City of Whitehorse. “These are deficiencies beyond the control of the contractor.”

Local companies Sidhu Trucking and Skookum Asphalt were contracted by the territory to do the original work.

They drilled, during the design phase, to test for things like permafrost and even stretched the work across two years, in 2009 and 2010, to allow for any possible settlement, said Tuck.

But last year, within a year of the original construction, settlement bumps appeared and the pavement had to be ripped up, gravel was brought in, the whole section was leveled out and repaved.

The territory had to foot the bill then, and they will have to again, said Tuck.

But it won’t cost much, “only a few thousand,” he added.

The Yukon government was in charge of the original design and build of the extension and the road is still under warranty.

“Normally, it’s a one-year warranty, but since the settlements started within that one-year period, we have not accepted the road yet,” said Tuck. “And we won’t accept it until the settlement issue has been dealt with.”

In 2011, the temporary repairs cost the territory about $170,000. This year that price is expected to be about $20,000, said Matt King with the department of community services.

The government’s engineers have told them that the road will settle eventually, but have offered no timeline.

“It’s a natural occurrence,” said King.

Skookum Asphalt has been given the contract for this fall’s work, he added.

But not everyone will be happy with repairs. Some parents have called to say their kids love the mini roller coaster, said Tuck.

Contact Roxanne Stasyszyn at roxannes@yukon-news.com

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