Dempster Highway in Yukon closed by washouts

·1 min read
A washed-out section of the Dempster Highway at kilometre 238. Crews are working to make the road safe enough to open at least one lane to traffic as soon as possible. (Yukon Highways and Public Works - image credit)
A washed-out section of the Dempster Highway at kilometre 238. Crews are working to make the road safe enough to open at least one lane to traffic as soon as possible. (Yukon Highways and Public Works - image credit)

The Dempster Highway in northern Yukon is closed after a couple of recent washouts did "severe" damage to the roadway.

"I've been keeping busy to say the least. Mother Nature has kept us on our toes," said Jim Regimbal, northern area superintendent for Yukon's highways department.

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As of Tuesday afternoon, there were two sections south of Eagle Plains where the road was deemed impassable: at kilometre 217, and kilometre 238. Another section further south, at kilometre 169, has been repaired.

Regimbal said the two washouts further north did "severe damage" to the road infrastructure and that crews were working to at least partially reopen the road.

"I wish I had a magic ball in front of me, but I really don't know when that is going to be up and running again," Regimbal said.

Yukon Highways and Public Works
Yukon Highways and Public Works

"I would imagine for the next two days the road will still be closed, and hoping that within that time frame we could get one safe lane so we can at least get some traffic back and forth."

He advises people to monitor 511 Yukon for updates on highway conditions.

Regimbal, who's based in Dawson City, Yukon, said it's been "interesting times" this year, as the region deals with flooding and washouts.

"I've been in Dawson since 2005, and chatting with the elders and people that have been born and raised here, I've never seen this significant amount of water coming down," he said.

"There's still lots of snow left up in the mountains."

Yukon Highways and Public Works
Yukon Highways and Public Works