Drivers could be making their way along Robert Service Way by the end of this week.
The City of Whitehorse has said the road will reopen sometime this week without the traffic controls that officials had originally expected would be needed. The city did not give a precise day for the reopening.
A large section of the road — one of the main routes in and out of downtown — has been shut since April 30 due to a landslide that sent debris down the escarpment across the roadway and into the Yukon River. The slide also took out rail tracks, a light standard and a guardrail. Sections of the Millennium Trail and airport trail have been closed.
Further escarpment slides in other areas have followed with much of the downtown escarpment area closed off.
The slides are being caused by saturated soils brought on by the record snowfall this past winter.
Since the closure, the city has been working to build a sheet piling wall on Robert Service Way aimed at preventing further slides from reaching the road.
On June 13, the city announced that the wall is finished, but work continues on an earth berm to strengthen the wall.
Mayor Laura Cabott said the city is planning to announce the reopening the day before it happens so that drivers can plan their routes.
“It’s going to open this week,” she said in a June 13 interview. “It’s going to open before the weekend, unless something crazy happens.”
She acknowledged the recent heavy rainfall, but noted it hasn’t impacted that area of the escarpment.
“So we’re moving ahead, we’re finishing the soil berm behind there, and that’s moving along nicely,” Cabott said.
The city noted movement in the area has been minimal, with officials continuing to monitor it closely and asking the public to avoid all trails and areas that are closed as they continue to be assessed.
“The Millennium trail, again, won’t be open and that’s until things really dry up,” Cabott said, adding those walking in the area are more vulnerable than those driving through in a vehicle.
It’s not expected other areas and trails that have been closed off will reopen before July 1. Details on the reopening of those areas will be released when they are better known, the city said.
Anyone who witnesses a slide is asked to report it to the city’s trouble line at 667-2111, or in the event of an emergency to call 911.
Contact Stephanie Waddell at firstname.lastname@example.org