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WHITEHORSE – The Yukon Party Official Opposition is concerned about the recent announcement by the Liberal government regarding the Takhini River Bridge project. The announcement seems to have missed dealing with the public’s top concern of traffic safety.
“The number one issue people raise about the Takhini River Bridge is how dangerous this narrow bridge is for vehicle traffic,” said Brad Cathers, MLA for Lake Laberge. “I have repeatedly raised the public’s concerns about the Takhini River Bridge with this Liberal government since early in their first term, so they are aware people want a wider bridge, and improvements to the approach on the north side. While some would like to see a walkway added for pedestrians, cyclists, and other users, the main issue that needs to be addressed is widening the road surface for vehicles to improve safety.”
Following years of lobbying efforts by the MLA for Lake Laberge on behalf of his constituents for bridge improvements, the Liberal government has announced a project that seems focused on accommodating cyclists and kick sled users, with no indication of whether it will do anything to address the top public priority of widening the road on the bridge. In addition to accidents on the bridge, people frequently report close calls and dangerous situations involving vehicles meeting on this narrow bridge.
“Last June, in reply to one of my letters about the Takhini River Bridge, the Minister of Highways and Public Works indicated funding had been set aside for this project,” added Cathers. “Right after that, I asked him several questions, including if the bridge would be widened to increase the road width for motor vehicles. Disappointingly, the Minister’s response did not answer that question or several others. Half a year later, the minister and the Liberal government have yet to provide real answers.”
The Yukon Party Caucus urges the government to do meaningful public consultation on the Takhini River Bridge project and to modify the design to ensure it reflects the needs and priorities of Yukoners who use this bridge.