The Dempster Highway, the Yukon’s sole road link with the Mackenzie River Delta region of the Northwest Territories, remains closed.
Traffic on the remote highway that strikes north from the North Klondike Highway near Dawson City bound for Inuvik and the Arctic Ocean has been halted since Sept. 2 because the bridge where the highway crosses the Eagle River requires emergency repairs. The site of the closure is 378 kilometres north of the southern end of the highway. It is just north of Eagle Plains.
According to a Yukon Department of Highways and Public Works update issued on Sept. 6, the emergency repairs at the bridge are underway but traffic will not be allowed to cross the bridge while they are in progress.
Highways and Public Works is advising the travelling public to avoid the area.
The update adds that the repairs that are underway are a temporary solution that will take until at least Sept. 9 to complete, subject to conditions at the bridge site.
According Highway and Public Works spokesperson Brittany Cross, the contractor tasked with repairing the bridge was still working onsite as of 4 p.m. on Sept. 8. An engineering review is also underway.
“Once the repairs are complete, we’ll be able to determine load capacity and timelines for when vehicles can safely cross,” the Sept. 6 update reads.
The government representative pledged further updates via the Highways and Public Works Facebook page as well as the 511 Yukon website. They stated that additional information will be shared as soon as it is available and another update is expected over the weekend.
“Our priority is protecting the safety of the traveling public. We’re working to get the bridge repaired and safely reopened as quickly as we can,” Cross said.
Contact Jim Elliot at firstname.lastname@example.org