Miles Canyon bridge to reopen this spring

Repairs to the Miles Canyon suspension bridge are ahead of schedule and the popular tourist attraction should be re-opened by the beginning of May, rather than this summer.

Repairs to the Miles Canyon suspension bridge are ahead of schedule and the popular tourist attraction should be re-opened by the beginning of May, rather than this summer.

Temporary repairs are scheduled to begin next week, according to Jennifer Macgillivray with the Department of Community Services.

That will include replacing some of the decaying crossbeams that run across the bottom of the bridge.

More permanent work will take place in the fall, she added, to replace the rest of the aging timbers on the bridge.

“This will allow the bridge to spend more time open and less time under repair,” she said.

Macgillivray said there’s no safety risk to opening the bridge after its temporary repairs are completed next month.

Andco Enterprises Ltd. won the contract for the temporary repairs for about $46,000.

The Yukon government closed the bridge back in October following a safety inspection on Oct. 20.

An engineer with Wood Research and Development Inc., Dan Tingley, carried out a more detailed inspection from Oct. 28-31.

According to Tingley’s final report, the bridge’s towers and suspension cables were in good condition but parts of the main wood structures had deteriorated.

Of the 21 crossbeams on the bridge, 11 have significant decay.

The use of heavy solids in the paint that was applied to the beams has accelerated the decay because it traps moisture inside the wood, preventing evaporation, explained Paul Murchison with the Department of Highways and Public Works at a briefing in December.

The bridge won’t be painted this time, Macgillivray said, and will have the same appearance as when it was originally built.

The stringers, which run underneath the bridge and connect to the deck, are also in various stages of decay.

Pictures in the report showed beams that had partially rotted. Some were cracked and had large pieces that had broken off.

“It is recommended that the bridge remain closed until the above repairs are completed,” Tingley wrote in his report’s conclusion.

“Immediate works to prevent snow build up induced failure or failure under a trespass load might be considered.”

After repairs are completed in the fall, the bridge should have a lifespan of about 50 years, Macgillivray said.

Built in 1922 as a tourist attraction, the 130-foot long bridge was rebuilt in the early 1970s.

Following an inspection in 2008, the towers were rebuilt and new concrete footings were poured, according to the Yukon government.

Work on the bridge was last done in 2010-11, when the timber towers were refurbished and replaced. New concrete footings were also installed under the towers.

Just Posted

YG releases ‘ambitious’ plan to combat climate change

It calls for lowering greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent by 2030

CPAWS Yukon ‘disappointed’ controversial writer to give keynote at Yukon Geoscience Forum

Vivian Krause is scheduled to deliver a keynote address at the forum on Nov. 16.

PSAC president speaks out about Queen’s Printer, Central Stores situation

‘It’s not good for the Yukon. It’s not good for the taxpayers of the Yukon.’


Wyatt’s World

Poor Creature, Yukonstruct case to be heard in court next month

Yukonstruct is seeking to have The Poor Creature evicted, while café owner arguing to stay

Whitehorse biathlete Nadia Moser earns IBU World Cup spot on Canadian team

Whitehorse’s Nadia Moser will begin the biathlon season at the IBU World… Continue reading

Whitehorse Glacier Bears host swimmers from Inuvik and B.C. at Ryan Downing Memorial Invitational Swim Meet

“Everyone had a good time – it was amazing. It was a really great meet.”

City news, briefly

Some of the decisions made at the Nov. 12 Whitehorse council meeting

Driving with Jens: Yielding is at the heart of defensive driving

If you’re like most people, you probably think about whether you have right-of-way, not yielding

Today’s mailbox: Remembrance Day, highway work

Letters to the editor published Nov. 13

F.H. Collins Warriors beat Vanier Crusaders in Super Volley boys volleyball final

“As long as we can control their big plays to a minimum, we’ll be successful”

Yukonomist: The squirrel, the husky and the rope

The squirrel is political popularity.

Most Read