The city has notified the Yukon government about safety concerns relating to the condition of the waterfront trolley tracks, city manager Linda Rapp told council Monday.
Rapp said a letter was sent late last month to Highways and Public Works Minister Richard Mostyn. It advised him that the city is receiving concerns from citizens about the state of the tracks.
While the minister is out of the territory, his deputy minister did respond with assurances the matter would be dealt with, she said.
Rapp said city crews have flagged problem areas along the tracks that run parallel to the Yukon River.
If the city doesn’t see anything happening, it will definitely be checking into it again, she said.
Coun. Laura Cabbot raised the safety concern at Monday’s meeting.
There are areas where the railway ties are rotting, she noted, with nails and other material protruding out up to half an inch.
Cyclists, walkers and runners frequently cross over the tracks, she pointed out.
The councillor said she realizes maintenance is the responsibility of the Yukon government, but the tracks are inside the city.
Some of the problem areas are down by the Kanoe People and behind Earl’s restaurant at the Waterfront Station, she said.
Cabbot said she is looking for a quick fix, perhaps a cold asphalt overlay on top of the areas where there are safety issues.
The Yukon government had been funding the operation and maintenance of the the trolley since it began running in 2001.
Mostyn announced in a letter to the MacBride Museum early last year that there would not be any more government funding for the trolley after 2018.
He reaffirmed that position earlier this year.
Continuing to fund operations and maintenance of the trolley is just not fiscally responsible, Mostyn explained in an interview with the Star in late April.
He pointed out the government had spent $5.4 million on O & M since 2000, and the trolley only ran half-time last year, and only along the portion of track that has been refurbished from the Roundhouse to Rotary Peace Park.
Although MacBride was informed that 2018 would be the last year of funding, it did apply last fall for $193,000, of which $107,000 would be for operations and the remainder for ongoing maintenance.
Mostyn denied the application.
MacBride agreed to take over operation of the trolley from the Miles Canyon Railway Society in 2017.
The society indicated in 2016 it could no longer handle management of the trolley because it was beginning to have issues with the maintenance of the trolley and the tracks.
Mostyn’s decision to eliminate funding raised the eyebrows of many who saw the trolley as a large benefit to local tourism at a reasonable price.