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NDP Leader Kate White

NDP leader, minister trade jabs over construction sites

NDP Leader Kate White is calling on the Yukon government to insist that contractors make highway reconstruction areas safer for motorists.

By Whitehorse Star on August 12, 2020

NDP Leader Kate White is calling on the Yukon government to insist that contractors make highway reconstruction areas safer for motorists.

Motorists have suffered flat tires and broken glass, among other things, while passing through some areas.

Busy areas currently undergoing reconstruction include the Alaska Highway between Hillcrest and Robert Service Way; the Mayo cutoff area; and between Whitehorse and Haines Junction.

This summer, White noted Monday, Yukoners have taken new border restrictions in stride and are exploring the territory now more than ever before.

“Over the last several weeks, many Yukoners have had close calls while driving next to or through construction sites on Yukon highways,” White said.

“Sites in Whitehorse, towards Haines Junction, near Teslin, and on a stretch of the Klondike Highway have all proven dangerous to the travelling public.

“Near the Whitehorse airport, one Yukon driver was injured and taken to the hospital after a fist-sized rock shattered their front windshield and hit them,” she added.

To date, White said, all Highways and Public Works Minister Richard Mostyn has managed to respond to concerned drivers is that the Motor Vehicle Act is being reviewed.

“How is this an appropriate answer?” White asked.

“That’s not leadership. The minister needs to send a clear message to contractors hired by his government that the safety of travellers is an absolute priority near construction sites.”

Mostyn, meanwhile, called it “disappointing to see the leader of the NDP criticizing local contractors that are working hard to improve road safety across our territory.

“We are pleased that several highway improvement projects are underway throughout the territory to enhance our road transportation network despite the current pandemic and inclement weather conditions,” Mostyn said.

“In response to concerns about road conditions in construction zones, we have installed additional speed limit signs along with electronic information signs that inform motorists of road work and reduced speed limits.”

The government is also working with the RCMP to ensure there is more speed enforcement throughout construction zones, the minister added.

“We all have a role to play when it comes to road safety, including driving carefully, paying attention to signs and flagging crews, slowing down around construction zones, and giving heavy-duty equipment adequate space,” Mostyn added.

Comments (17)

Up 4 Down 2

Groucho d'North on Aug 18, 2020 at 3:21 pm

I have no issue with the construction work being performed by Mr. Sidhu and company, but I do have an issue with the engineering group that determines where the passing lanes are to be located on the highways serving the northern part of town. THERE ARE NONE! Slow drivers and the inability to pass them are contributing to traffic conjestion and prompting other drivers to pass over a double yellow line in order to keep traffic flowing as it should. Soon school buses will be adding to the general slowing of traffic, prompting impatient drivers to take unnessasary risks.
The layout of the highways and the zones for passing used to be adequate about 10 or so years ago to maintain a healthy traffic flow without drivers playing Indy 500 when they came upon a slow heavy truck. All that changed when the section along MacPherson got paved, then the section down to the Takhini bridge got painted the same with expansive turning lane barriers and the elimination of passing lanes for through traffic.

Up 17 Down 1

Eyeholder Beauty on Aug 15, 2020 at 7:03 am

As an aside in this while the blasting is going on at the intersection of North Klondike Highway and Alaska Highway could we have the lobird leveler go across and clean out that whole corner and associated area of eyesores that have collected over 50 years? This is an opportunity that may not present itself again for sometime. Boom! gone.

Up 13 Down 13

Wilf Carter on Aug 14, 2020 at 3:40 pm

NDP does not support Yukon construction companies. Way to go!!!!!

Up 25 Down 2

Lindsay H on Aug 14, 2020 at 9:25 am

I live on the Mayo Rd, and have to say that I have been extremely impressed with Sidhu Trucking who is doing the work at the corner. Overall they made sure the roads are as smooth as they can be this summer given all the rain we have had. I would agree with many of the comments here, that driver speed is a huge issue. I watched a semi come barreling down the hill from the north into the construction zone when the speed is very clearly marked.

Up 19 Down 4

Nathan Living on Aug 13, 2020 at 7:41 pm

Rocks are usually not a problem if people are driving slowly.

Up 11 Down 5

Wilf Carter on Aug 13, 2020 at 3:53 pm

JC how close to the truck were you because if you are getting stoned you are too close to the truck hauling the gravel or rocks. At least six truck length should should say back to avoid any problems.

Up 4 Down 14

Wilf Carter on Aug 13, 2020 at 3:49 pm

Logic shows that Yukon Party government redid the program to update and it showed it needed to be done. Look at all the people hurt or killed on that highway because it was out dated. I have give liberals credit for doing this because they got the message

Up 2 Down 8

Wilf Carter on Aug 13, 2020 at 3:46 pm

Hi really look at the report on highway dangerous conditions when liberals were in power.

Up 28 Down 9

Woodcutter on Aug 13, 2020 at 11:13 am

I may not be driving every day through the construction areas, however when I do, I get through safe and sound. Perhaps more political drama, by politicians?

Up 15 Down 4

Smarter mr m on Aug 13, 2020 at 7:27 am

I am mr m. I can't differentiate vehicles speeding and how unsafe road filled with hazards are not the same thing. I want them to be so I can make a long winded point about being old and on the internet.

I didn't pay attention in high school and now everything confuses and angers me. I want to rant about people needing to be personally responsible but cannot understand the irony that it could apply to somebody's jobsite. I think I drive great so everyone else probably does too. That's how life works and we don't need to improve anything ever unless it bothers or affects me.

Up 26 Down 2

doug starko on Aug 13, 2020 at 6:49 am

I have just driven through a bunch of the construction zones last week and the work and road is fine. It is the drivers not following posted limits in the construction areas. Pulling a trailer I slowed to 30km/h through a lot of it as you could see oncoming traffic not slowing down for the posted lower limits.

Up 31 Down 2

Really Wilf? on Aug 12, 2020 at 10:00 pm

Really Wilf? “Road building that should have been done years ago when Liberals were in power?” The Liberals were previously in power for all of 2.5 years, followed by 14 years of Yukon Party government. How can you possibly blame delays in highway improvements on the former Liberal government? And the “NDP taking Yukon backwards not forward.” Pretty hard for the NDP to be taking the Yukon anywhere, since they are the third party in the Legislative Assembly! It’s fine to be partisan, but at least try to maintain some semblance of logic in your rants!

Up 21 Down 12

JC on Aug 12, 2020 at 8:45 pm

I do agree about getting stoned while following dump trucks down the highway and yes, even through the downtown core. I've had my car and windshield pummeled many times from these dump trucks. And I clocked many of them going more than 20 kilos over the downtown speed limits. Truck drivers should have to put tarps over their loads and take out the stones imbedded in their tires before going on the roads. Try proving a broken windshield was done by them. The court case would cost more than the window. Time for the police to slow them down, by issuing them a few tickets.

Up 14 Down 20

Moose on Aug 12, 2020 at 7:32 pm

The NDP is upset with our local contractors and roadwork in general? Colour me surprised. I'm sure it's just a coincidence that they also oppose any upgrades to roads which increase efficiency. If it were up to them, all roads would be reduced to 30km/hr donkey trails paired with bike trails. Every now and then the NDP has a good idea or suggestion, but then they go off the rails and oppose everything in an attempt to create some kind of pagan, back to the earth utopia which has no basis in reality. And I'm saying this as a leftist! Though I'm a leftist based in the real world which is why I'll stick with Premier Silver and his crew. I think they've found a pretty good centre/left balance.

Up 23 Down 5

Sprucetip on Aug 12, 2020 at 6:10 pm

The road in the construction zone near Dawson is horrific. Traveling in a small car is near impossible. We bottomed out five times recently in a 5km section, got left behind by the pilot car while they zoomed ahead and didn't wait. The massive dump trucks can't see a small car, leaving us behind was ridiculous. That's the whole point of a freakin' pilot car. While I appreciate the work that needs to be done, to not make it a safe zone to travel through for the general public is kind of road construction 101 isn't it? You still have to keep the roads safe!

Up 37 Down 39

Wilf Carter on Aug 12, 2020 at 3:11 pm

Yukon construction companies are doing their job greatly. NDP is just trying to raise crap on road building that needed to be done years ago when liberals were in power. NDP taking Yukon backwards not forward.

Up 67 Down 18

Mr M on Aug 12, 2020 at 3:08 pm

Maybe Kate White should drive through some of these unsafe construction zones herself and see the disregard for the speed limit that some of the drivers are driving over the posted speed limit and tailgating. It isn't always the contractors. The idiots that drive in this town need to slow down and for those people jay walking across 2nd and 4th ave I do not have one bit of sympathy if you get hit. There are marked cross walks. Cross at the damn things.

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