Temperatures hovering above freezing have made for treacherous road conditions around much of southern Yukon. (Chris Windeyer/Yukon News)

Warm weather causes dangerous road conditions in southern Yukon

‘We have to chain up the sand machines just to get out’

Drivers in the Yukon should be aware of dangerous road conditions Dec. 11, says the Department of Highways and Public Works.

The Alaska Highway between Destruction Bay and Whitehorse was closed due to extreme icy conditions earlier in the day. The highway has since reopened with a travel advisory.

“We have to chain up the sand machines just to get out (to Haines Junction),” said Mickey Parkin, HPW’s superintendent of safety. “There’s just no traction.”

The Haines Road is currently closed due to ice and extreme snow conditions. It is unknown when it will reopen, as conditions there are worse.

“Whatever weather we’ve had here,” Parkin said, “you can bet they’ve got it worse on the Haines Road.”

The road to Skagway, AK, and Fraser, B.C., remains open with a travel advisory, but Parkins said the department “is not encouraging travel” along that route due to snow and black ice. It’s possible that route may also close if conditions deteriorate further, he said.

Conditions between Whitehorse and Teslin and stretches of the Klondike Highway are also dangerous, although those areas remain open to traffic. Highways and Public Works has issued a travel advisory, however.

The decision to close the highway is not taken lightly, said Parkin, especially as this is the holiday season, and is made on the advice of “experienced field staff.”

The poor road conditions are largely the result of the warm weather the southern Yukon has been experiencing, with temperatures at or above freezing for the past week.

“I’ve been at this a long time,” said Parkin. “I can’t remember a rain event that’s ever gone on this long.”

For up-to-date road information visit 511yukon.ca.

Contact Lori Fox at lori.fox@yukon-news.com

Alaska Highwayroad conditionsYukon Department of Highways and Public Works

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Yukon Conservation Society hires new executive director

Coral Voss brings background in administration and enviromental work

Moose a relatively new species to the Yukon, study finds

DNA and carbon-dating suggest that moose only entered North America about 15,000 years ago

Canada Games Centre readies for skaters, swimmers

Second phase of rec centre reopening starts Aug. 3

Pedalling the Yukon’s lakes

Water bikes come north

CYFN, YG launch awareness campaign after drop in calls to family and children’s services

Officials say there’s concern COVID-19 measures have isolated children from people providing oversight

City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week. Tennis… Continue reading

Cancan show to return to Gerties

The Klondike Visitors Association announced in a press release on July 29… Continue reading

Air North named best airline

Tripadvisor named Air North the Travellers’ Choice Best Airline in Canada 2020… Continue reading

Community banking services to move to CIBC

A number of Yukon communities will see changes in banking this fall… Continue reading

Majority of Yukon businesses don’t have employees working remotely during COVID-19, survey says

Less than a third of businesses have any portion of their workforce working remotely

More than a dozen speak out on zoning change

Nearly all express support for Pelly Construction’s plans

City accepts funding to address homelessness

$46,000 will go towards 100 Homes campaign

2020 Yukon Energy Road Cycling Championships bring plenty of competitive spirit

The U15 boys GC came down to a sprint to the finish of the final stage

Most Read