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Propellor concerns put Dawson ferry out of service; shuttle in place for foot traffic

Yukon government recommending alternative travel arrangements and extended stays to vehicle traffic
The George Black Ferry in Dawson is seen on July 30, 2022. (Jim Elliot/Yukon News)

A shuttle is shuffling foot traffic across the Yukon River in Dawson while the ferry is out of commission.

Vehicles are currently stuck on either side of the river.

The Yukon government runs the George Black Ferry. The department of Highways and Public Works posted to Facebook on Aug. 15 about the halting of operations due to mechanical issues and apologized for the inconvenience.

“We recommend people make alternative travel arrangements or consider extending their stay in Dawson until we can safely accommodate vehicle traffic,” a department spokesperson told the News by email on Aug. 16.

Krysten Johnson, communications manager for the department, said the ferry was put out of service due to mechanical concerns surrounding the ferry’s propeller. The ferry has been taken out of the water in order for a full inspection and to determine the extent of the issue.

While the mechanical inspection is still underway, the initial findings estimate the ferry will need at least two full days to undergo repairs, Johnson said.

The ferry will be out of service until the repairs are complete.

Meanwhile, the government has acquired a contractor to help with shuttling people across the river to accommodate foot traffic.

The shuttle is running from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. and it can carry eight passengers at a time, according to Johnson.

Johnson said the department is working with its counterparts at the international Little Gold-Poker Creek border crossing and the visitor information centre to pass along the message.

“We are asking all travellers to please check Yukon 511 for the latest information,” Johnson said.

“We thank everyone for their patience.”

The Top of the World Highway is open, but it is marked as closed online “so people knew that they would get stuck at the ferry crossing,” Johnson said.

“We will try and fix 511 so it’s a bit more clear and drivers know they can drive across the [Canada-U.S.] border and connect to Beaver Creek. However, they will likely need their passports to cross.”

Contact Dana Hatherly at

Dana Hatherly

About the Author: Dana Hatherly

I’m the legislative reporter for the Yukon News.
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