More upgrades coming for Campbell Highway

The Yukon government is planning to spend nearly $6 million on a two-year reconstruction project from kilometre 79 to 88 of the Robert Campbell Highway.

The Yukon government is planning to spend nearly $6 million on a two-year reconstruction project from kilometre 79 to 88 of the Robert Campbell Highway.

It also plans to spend another $4.7 million to continue work between kilometres 88 and 97.

The Campbell Highway is 582 kilometres long and runs from Watson Lake to Carmacks. It also serves Faro and Ross River.

“Restoring this highway and making it safer is important for local highway users as well as for commercial traffic, Yukon residents and tourists who use the highway,” said Highways and Public Works Minister Scott Kent in a news release.

According to the release, the two projects could create 45 jobs this year. Both are located between Watson Lake and the Tuchitua highway maintenance camp.

This work is the latest in a series of reconstruction projects on the Campbell Highway. In April 2015, Kent wrote a letter saying the Yukon government had budgeted more than $70 million for the road since 2002.

During the fall legislative sitting, the NDP accused the government of having poured millions of dollars into the south portion of the Campbell Highway solely to benefit the Wolverine mine, which shuttered in January 2015.

At the time, the News found that road upgrades listed in annual budget highlights often targeted the section of road between kilometres 10 and 190, right around the Wolverine turnoff.

Upgrades to the stretch of road between Carmacks and Faro were only explicitly mentioned once in the previous decade, in 2005-06.

But in the legislative assembly, Kent argued that the upgrades to the South Campbell Highway will benefit future mines in the area. He specifically referenced the Selwyn and Kudz Ze Kayah projects.

The Kudz Ze Kayah site is located just north of Wolverine, while the Selwyn site is on the border of Yukon and the Northwest Territories. It can be accessed via the Nahanni Range Road, which splits from the Campbell Highway at kilometre 107, just north of the section slated for the latest upgrades. 

Contact Maura Forrest at

maura.forrest@yukon-news.com

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