Vehicles pass over rough areas of pavement on Hamilton Boulevard in Whitehorse on Aug. 18. Repairs to the 500-metre section of road began this week. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Hamilton Boulevard work begins

Construction will be minimized during peak traffic periods

Repairs to a 500-metre section of Hamilton Boulevard were set to begin this week.

In an Aug. 14 statement, the Yukon government touted the work as “long-awaited repairs” that can now be done as permafrost has thawed.

The work being done by Cobalt Construction is set to take about four weeks and will see reconstruction of the subsurface and road surface, along with the installation of new guardrails and light standards.

“We are pleased that we can now make repairs to this section of Hamilton Boulevard to provide a safer and smoother ride for road users,” Highways and Public Works Minister Richard Mostyn said. “We thank residents for their patience over the past few years. This is one of several projects underway in Whitehorse and throughout the territory to improve road safety. As this work proceeds, travellers are reminded to drive carefully, pay attention to signs and flagging crews, slow down around construction zones, and give heavy duty equipment adequate space.”

Detours, traffic control and delays can be expected, officials said.

Community Services spokesperson Bonnie Venton Ross explained in an email correspondence that work had been anticipated to start earlier in the season, but along with multiple projects underway, the territory had to also ensure agreements were in place with the City of Whitehorse before reconstruction could begin.

Mayor Dan Curtis said the area has been an issue for motorists for a number of years and city officials are pleased the work is going ahead.

The territory has been monitoring the condition of the permafrost along that section of Hamilton Boulevard since 2013, four years after that part of the road opened in 2009. The roadway connects the neighbourhoods of Copper Ridge, Ingram and Lobird Trailer Park to the Alaska Highway.

The construction begins the same week schools are reopening and more vehicles are expected to be on the road.

“Cobalt Construction’s traffic plan for this project has been developed to minimize delays to traffic,” Venton Ross said.

“For example, there will always be two lanes of traffic open at all times to ensure constant flow subject to construction speed limits.

“Construction activity will be minimized during rush hour times. During perceived busy traffic times (e.g. rush hours including school bus traffic) the road crew will also ensure that the traffic detours are all prepped and ready.”

School buses in Whitehorse will be on the roads beginning shortly after 7 a.m. through the week with many families also anticipated to drive their children to school given a statement on the Yukon government website that comes due to COVID-19:

“The Chief Medical Officer of Health and the Department of Education encourage families to transport students between home and school this year if possible, by arranging for students to walk, cycle, drive or carpool to allow for room on buses for students without other means of transport.”

A number of school buses in Whitehorse are expected to be on the road throughout the day as high school students prepare for half-day school schedules.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at stephanie.waddell@yukon-news.com

Construction

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