Whitehorse Daily Star

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FRIGID BUT EFFECTIVE – The equipment placed Tuesday on the Yukon River in front of Dawson City is capable of spraying water and mist 30 metres (100 feet) into the air, which will help to build up the ice. The open water is seen in the background. Photo courtesy GOVERNMENT OF YUKON/DEREK CROWE

Ice bridge initiative begins in Dawson City

In the midst of the current mild weather, Yukon government staff and contractors began their attempt to build an ice bridge in Dawson City on Tuesday afternoon.

By Whitehorse Star on January 17, 2018

In the midst of the current mild weather, Yukon government staff and contractors began their attempt to build an ice bridge in Dawson City on Tuesday afternoon.

This marks the first time that the government has tried to induce ice formation for the purposes of creating a Yukon River ice bridge to enable West Dawson and Sunnydale residents to access the main townsite.

If the construction is successful and ice and weather conditions are favourable, the government said Tuesday, the bridge may be open to the public in several weeks.

Tetra Tech Canada Inc. is the main contractor working with the government for the $200,000 project.

In previous years, creating a standard ice bridge has cost an estimated $80,000.

“This is the first time we have used this kind of technology in Yukon, and we are excited to see the results,” said Highways and Public Works Minister Richard Mostyn.

“If the ice and weather co-operate with us, we will hopefully have a workable ice bridge within weeks.”

He originally announced the plan on Dec. 21, calling it “a Band-Aid across the channel.”

The government is using ice-making equipment, some of it involving the spraying of large amounts of water, that was recently used in the Northwest Territories.

For safety reasons, work is being conducted during daylight only.

West Dawson and Sunnydale residents are crossing the river where it’s frozen south of town, but it’s a crossing that involves 10 to 15 kilometres of travel by foot, dog time, skis or snowmobiles.

A permanent bridge was part of the Yukon Party’s 2002 election campaign platform – an election it won.

The pledge was cancelled in 2005 because of the huge cost it would involve.

Comments (3)

Up 2 Down 0

Yukon Watchdog on Jan 23, 2018 at 9:44 am

If they can get it built, it will be just in time for it to melt. What a colossal waste of my tax dollars. As RalpH said, "Living on the other side is a CHOICE. Why are we paying?"

Up 1 Down 0

Bob on Jan 21, 2018 at 9:58 am

The way things are going it will be 200 grand and still no bridge. Wonder if the taxpayer will get a refund?

Up 3 Down 0

ralpH on Jan 17, 2018 at 4:20 pm

So 200 grand for a bridge for three months. Wondering if other cheaper options exist? Remember living on the other side of river is a choice so why are we paying??

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