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City of Whitehorse closes off more escarpment areas

Tension cracks continue to impact clay cliffs

New tension cracks seen in the escarpment downtown has forced the City of Whitehorse to close off more areas along the base of the clay cliffs, officials said in a statement May 18.

“Along with the new tension cracks, surveying of the escarpment has continued to show signs of significant movement including ground water flowing down the face of the escarpment, and mud flows occurring in the afternoons,” it was noted in a city press release. “These signs indicate a potential for additional slides to occur.”

Fencing has been put in place around the Hanson and Hawkins Street park as well as a lot along Fifth Avenue and the public is instructed to avoid the escarpment area from the end of Taylor Street to Hanson Street. The city release states that residences aren’t at risk.

The city has been watching and assessing the escarpment since the April 30 slide that saw debris come down the escarpment, across Robert Service Way and onto the Yukon River. The slide has closed a major section of the roadway as the city moves forward with plans for a sheet pile wall. The wall will have to be built and debris removed before the city can reopen the road.

In the meantime, the city has eliminated transit fares until July 1 in an effort to address the increased traffic congestion that has resulted from the road closure.

The closed escarpment area was expanded on May 18. (Courtesy/City of Whitehorse)
The closed escarpment area was expanded on May 18. (Courtesy/City of Whitehorse)

READ MORE: Robert Service Way will remain closed for weeks

Contact Stephanie Waddell at

Stephanie Waddell

About the Author: Stephanie Waddell

I joined Black Press in 2019 as a reporter for the Yukon News, becoming editor in February 2023.
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