The Canadian government said the Alaska Highway washout at Contact Creek, just south of the Yukon Territory border, should be passable in about six to eight weeks. Meanwhile, a detour has been established at km 900 for southbound traffic leaving Watson Lake and km 897 for northbound traffic leaving Fort Nelson.
“Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) was made aware that a section of the Alaska Highway near KM 897 was washed out on July 1, 2022. The heavy rainfall that had occurred over the preceding weeks in the area resulted in the collapse of a beaver dam. The resulting runoff event carried stones and loose debris which blocked the existing culverts under the highway. With the blocked culvert flow, the runoff then backed up, eventually to the point where it overflowed across the road surface. The flow was so high that it completely washed out a 75m stretch of the highway,” the government said in a statement.
“PSPC notified the Highway Maintenance contractor who arrived on-site on July 1st. Traffic barriers were put in place and work was started to get a detour in place as soon as possible. The work on the detour was completed on July 4th at 3p.m. PST. The detour is single-lane only. Traffic control is being maintained with a pilot car. The detour will remain in place until the work to repair the main section of highway is completed. The issue was reported in the PSPC daily road report on July 2nd which is issued to local stakeholders including, BC and Yukon media outlets, tourism offices, motels, RCMP, Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Drive BC, and local radio stations, etc.
“The engineered repairs required for the main section of highway will take 6 to 8 weeks to complete. All efforts will be expended to ensure the repairs are completed as soon as possible. With an average of 800-1,200 daily travellers on the Alaska Highway, PSPC will ensure that the public is aware of closures and the impacts on local traffic through public notices that will be issued in advance and shared through our social media channels. The same information will be distributed to stakeholders for further broadcasting. In the meantime, people travelling are advised to obey traffic signs and follow the pilot car on the assigned detour route.”