Local business fears fallout from Alaska Highway work

Proposed road work and improvements to the Alaska Highway at the Carcross cutoff may cause grief for at least one local business owner.

Proposed road work and improvements to the Alaska Highway at the Carcross cutoff may cause grief for at least one local business owner.

A proposal by the Department of Highways and Public Works to upgrade the highway is open for public comment with the Yukon Environment Socio-Economic Assessment Board until May 25.

The proposed work would include eliminating the four existing highway access points at the intersection with the South Klondike Highway and replacing them with new ones at Duncan Drive and east of Anaconda Place. The department is also planning left-hand turning lanes and the extension of merging lanes.

“The work is primarily to improve safety at the Carcross cutoff and that whole vicinity,” said Alicia Debreceni, a spokesperson with the highways department.

Lee Willett, who owns the Cutoff Restaurant, agrees there are safety concerns with that stretch of road, but said the road work might potentially cost her business, because it removes direct highway access to the restaurant.

Willet said she also recently installed $10,000 worth of new signs for their restaurant before they found out about the work. She said the signs will give incorrect directions once the work is completed.

Willet said the department has promised to move the signs once work is finished.

“If you’re coming from Carcross, it kinds of screws us,” she said. “It could be a big part of our business, people coming from Skagway.”

Average daily traffic in 2015 at the Carcross cutoff was 2,782 vehicles per day heading south (towards Carcross) and 4,551 vehicles per day heading north (coming from Carcross) said Britanee Stewart, a spokesperson with the highways department.

While the exact number of collisions at the Carcross cutoff was not available, Stewart said the intersection has a “similar safety concern” as another high-collision area at the top of Robert Service Way.

“It’s kind of a crazy intersection, I agree with that,” Willett said. “I think a set of lights would have been sufficient.”

“There’s positives and negatives, but we know it’s inevitable.”

Contact Lori Garrison at lori.garrison@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

City of Whitehorse tells taxi passengers who feel unsafe to not travel alone

Suggestion criticized by advocates for placing burden of safety on passengers, not taxi companies

Whitehorse’s new emergency room slated to open in early January

40,000-square-foot building will be more efficient, officials say

Judge finds Whitehorse man not guilty of raping teen in 2015 after second trial

Judge Raymond Wyant found Jackie James Kodwat not guilty of sexual assault.

Whitehorse’s sidewalks are a deathtrap

In the interest of safety and simplicity, the city should just plow the sidewalks

Police, coroner investigating suspicious death in Pelly Crossing

Investigators have ordered an autopsy, which will take place in Vancouver Dec. 18

Two Yukon projects shortlisted for the Arctic Inspiration Prize

Projects from Whitehorse, Carcross up for cash

Lower Post, B.C., man suing Yukon RCMP over assault allegation

Suit alleges man ended up with ‘ended up with bruising on his arms, biceps and chest’

Yukon needs a better plan for long-term care

The government can find solutions if it has the will. Does it have the will?

Hard travel over the Yukon’s winter trails

The overland trip to Dawson City today is a cakewalk compared to a century ago

Globalization infiltrates the Yukon’s recycling bins

You’re going to have to do a better job sorting your junk or else China won’t take it

Driving during the holidays

It’s hectic on the roads at Christmastime

Whitehorse council chambers needs new audio-visual equipment

‘More than 10 people’ watch city’s televised meetings

Most Read