Stretch of North Klondike ‘worse than anything I’ve seen on the Dempster,’ says veteran trucker

A seasoned truck driver is complaining about poor road conditions along the North Klondike Highway, which he says are the worst he’s ever seen.

A seasoned truck driver is complaining about poor road conditions along the North Klondike Highway, which he says are the worst he’s ever seen.

Jim Sherburne hauls goods for Manitoulin to Inuvik, N.W.T twice a week.

He said the eight-kilometre stretch of road between the south end of Fox Lake and the campground was particularly bad last Friday.

“I know bad roads, and this was worse than anything I’ve seen on the Dempster Highway,” said Sherburne, who has been driving the route for 30 years.

“I saw the warning signs and I was going probably 60 kilometres per hour. All of a sudden I had to slow down to about five or 10.

“It was really beat to… well, I can’t get too colourful, but it was really bad.”

Sherburne said when he returned to Whitehorse this past weekend, he tried reaching out to the Yukon government through its 511 Yukon website to complain about the road, but he wasn’t able to get ahold of anyone.

“Just because it’s the weekend there’s no one around?” he asked. “Cars and trucks don’t drive on weekends?”

Sherburne, who called from Eagle Plains, said he saw two graders along the bad stretch of road this morning.

He was wondering why it took the Department of Highways and Public Works so long to repair the potholes.

“That road has been deteriorating for two or three weeks now – they put calcium on it and soaked it right down with water, but that’s what probably started the potholes.”

Sherburne said he’s frustrated by the amount of time it took him to get through the stretch of road – about 40 minutes, he estimates – and wonders how tourists or commuters from Carmacks put up with it.

An update on the 511 Yukon website this morning just after 6 a.m. said ‘rough sections, reduced speed’ and loose gravel were expected near Fox Lake.

“Be prepared to stop, soft and rutted, maintenance to be performed in daylight hours only,” it read.

The Department of Highways and Public Works did not immediately respond to questions today.

Contact Myles Dolphin at

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