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Contract awarded for repair of Alaska Highway washout

Whitehorse’s Cobalt Construction gets $2.6 Million of work.
A photo from July 1 shows the damage done to the Alaska Highway by a washout near Contact Creek just south of the British Columbia/Yukon Border. (Yukon Highways and Public Works/Facebook)

The contract for the repair of the portion of the Alaska Highway that washed out on Canada Day has gone to a Yukon company.

The washout near kilometre 897 of the highway, just south of the British Columbia-Yukon border, closed the road for about three days before a temporary single-lane detour could be completed.

Federal government spokespeople said that the washout of the 75-metre long stretch of the highway was due to heavy rainfall in previous weeks that caused the collapse of a beaver dam.

The contract for the full replacement of the washout was awarded on Aug. 5. Cobalt Construction Inc., based in Whitehorse, was awarded the $2.6-million job. Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), the federal agency charged with awarding the contract, put out an Aug. 15 statement on the scope of the work Cobalt had agreed to complete. The job will include earthworks such as the replacement of the destroyed culvert and reinforcement of the area around it.

“PSPC anticipates work to begin this week and to be mostly completed by the end of September with the final stages of the repaving done by spring 2023. The detour that was put in place following the washout will remain throughout the duration of the work,” the statement reads.

The PSPC notice also states that Cobalt will be partnering with the Lower Post First Nation through an Indigenous Participation Plan that makes up 15 per cent of the total contract value.

It says the exact details of the plan will be worked out by Cobalt and the First Nation, but PSPC’s website says such plans can consist of employment, skills development and training opportunities, subcontracting opportunities for Indigenous-owned businesses and other benefits.

According to the PSPC, the government is working towards having at least five per cent of the total value of federal contracts awarded to businesses managed and led by Indigenous people.

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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