The Yukon government’s conceptual design for the Alaska Highway at Robert Service Way. (Screen shot/Yukon government)

The Yukon government’s conceptual design for the Alaska Highway at Robert Service Way. (Screen shot/Yukon government)

The changing face of the Alaska Highway: improvements planned for 2022

The Yukon government will submit its plans in the next month

Yukon government officials are continuing to plan for improvements to the Alaska Highway through Whitehorse.

The 2021 construction season has seen work to the highway around the Hillcrest area, including new lanes, a pedestrian-enabled traffic signal at Burns Road, a new paved trail along the highway and improved turning lanes, with officials now looking ahead to 2022 when work is planned for the highway from Philmar RV to the Whitehorse weigh scales, or kilometre 1418 to kilometre 1422.

On Sept. 1, the territory’s Department of Highways and Public Works held an information session about the plans at the pull out to Squatter’s Road in the area.

As Krysten Johnson, a spokesperson with the department explained, the information session is part of the efforts to speak with residents about the plans. There have also been discussions with businesses in the area about the conceptual design.

“There may be changes,” Johnson said of the design, noting speaking with residents and businesses will allow for input to potentially be incorporated into the more detailed design.

It’s expected within the next month, the Yukon government will submit its plans to the Yukon Environmental Socio-economic Assessment Board for review.

As part of that review process, there will be another opportunity for public comment.

The goal of the overall highway project through Whitehorse is to make the highway safer for travellers. Much of that includes reducing the number of accesses directly onto the highway.

Instead, work is being done to add frontage roads along the highway where travellers can access businesses and neighbourhood roads.

Improvements to the intersection of the highway and Robert Service Way would be among the biggest changes in the project for 2022, Johnson said, highlighting plans to fix the alignment in order to provide better site lines with an improved left turn lane, similar to the highway intersection at Two Mile Hill.

It’s expected the highway improvements from Philmar RV to the weigh scales will be done over a two-year period into 2024.

Future phases of the highway project will focus on Porter Creek and Crestview with realignment planned for Centennial Street and Lodgepole Lane so that both roads can be accessed at one intersection, as well as at 15th Avenue and Birch Street so that vehicles can access the highway from a safer angle.

An extension is also planned for Birch Street to Wann Road.

Laberge Road would also see a change with the government planning to direct it to a frontage road that would connect drivers to the highway via MacDonald and Wann roads.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at