Miles Canyon bridge unsafe until repaired: report

The Miles Canyon suspension bridge needs immediate repair before it can be re-opened to the public, according to a report by an engineering firm.

The Miles Canyon suspension bridge needs immediate repair before it can be re-opened to the public, according to a report by an engineering firm.

The Yukon government closed the popular tourist attraction 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 are in good condition but parts of the main wood structures have 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.

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.”

The Yukon government has hired Stantec Inc. to provide the design work for the repairs.

Once that is completed, estimates on the cost can be developed and a tender will be issued for the work.

Right now, there isn’t a timeline as to when the repairs will be completed, according to Jennifer Macgillivray with the Department of Community Services.

“Bridge repairs like this don’t take a long time,” she said.

“Once we tender the work it’ll be completed fairly quickly. We want to come up with a new way to hold the crossbeams in place.

“Right now they have a screw in them and that allows water to get in there.”

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.

Built in 1922 by the federal Department of Public Works and the City of Whitehorse, the bridge was named the Robert Lowe Bridge in honour of the first speaker of the first fully elected Yukon Territorial Council.

Contact Myles Dolphin at

myles@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

Canada Post rotating strikes hit Whitehorse

Whitehorse postal workers went on strike the morning of Nov. 9

WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World

Aw, shucks: Wayfarer Oyster House is open for business

Wayfarer Oyster House has its soft opening

Until there’s a traffic light ‘we’re not going to stop’: Hillcrest Community Association president

A petition signed by 22 people was tabled in the legislative assembly on Nov. 8

Striking workers allege assault and threats

Many Rivers workers say their picket line was “stormed”

UPDATED: Yukon Supreme Court Justice Leigh Gower dies unexpectedly

Judge remembered for his balance and diligence, as well as his love for theatre and motorcycles

Twelve months and a strike: Many Rivers workers serve strike notice

Job action is set to start Friday afternoon, when workers will walk off the job

Yukon Premier Sandy Silver discusses carbon pricing plans

The federal backstop will be active in July

About 350 Yukoners are waiting for cataract surgery

The News spoke to one person who has been waiting for almost two years to have the procedure done

New Whitehorse city council sworn in

Councillors say they’re excited to get started on strategic planning

Commentary: Lack of affordable housing in the Yukon is not about funds, but how we spend them

Why are we not building apartment complexes to serve the lower and lower-middle income bracket?

Driving with Jens: When should you plug your vehicle in?

You can probably still start your car without plugging it in at -25 C or colder, but you shouldn’t.

Yukonomist: Too far up the supply curve

Some copper mines come in and out of production as global demand for the metal surges and ebbs.

Most Read