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WHITEHORSE – The Yukon Party Official Opposition is calling on the Yukon government to work with their federal counterparts and US officials to help expedite the emergency opening of the Canada-US border crossing west of Dawson as a second road access to the Klondike.
Intense spring flooding has closed the North Klondike Highway east of Dawson City, cutting off access to Whitehorse and points south. This means that much-needed supplies such as groceries, sandbags, and equipment cannot flow as freely to areas impacted by flooding.
The opening of the Little Gold-Poker Creek border crossing is set for June 1. This provides secondary access to the south through Alaska during the summer months. However, that opening is a week away, and continued access to supplies is critical for all residents in the Klondike region.
“With flooding closing Dawson’s only access south between Stewart Crossing and the Dempster Highway turn-off, supply access has been limited to air-only,” said Porter Creek North MLA Geraldine Van Bibber. “By opening the border as soon as possible, goods could still be trucked into Dawson through Alaska. This would also allow folks who need to travel to Whitehorse for medical appointments to still make their appointments without having to reschedule.”
The water is also threatening to damage the Clear Creek Bridge, which could result in an extended closure of the North Klondike Highway. In addition, other highway infrastructure is under threat due to high water, particularly Mayo’s road access via the Silver Trail.
The Yukon Party suggests the government immediately triage areas of repair along both the North Klondike and Silver Trail and reach out to contractors who could do repair work on an emergency basis to open both roads in an expedited manner once the water recedes.