Dawson City ice bridge construction contract awarded

Whitehorse-based Cobalt Construction has been awarded a contract to construct an ice bridge in Dawson City this winter.

The Yukon River in Dawson did not freeze over the past two winters and has yet to freeze over this winter. This means that the territorial government is looking for ways to induce ice formation to build the bridge.

The contractor will start work in mid-December and will be installing an ice boom – a floating structure designed to catch accumulating ice – across the river. The boom installation is scheduled to be wrapped up before Christmas. Work on the ice bridge will then start back up in January 2019 or when conditions are most favourable for ice formation.

The project’s success will depend on a number of factors including weather, water temperatures, air temperatures and ice conditions.

Accessing Dawson has become increasingly difficult for the residents of West Dawson in light of the recent effects of climate change. Cobalt Construction has extensive experience in highway construction in the Yukon, and we look forward to working with them to find a solution to keep these communities connected.

Minister of Highways and Public Works Richard Mostyn

Quick facts 
  • The contract is valued at just under $200,000.

  • Government of Yukon staff and Dawson City community members met on August 22 and October 9, 2018 to discuss the issue of the river not freezing, why it wasn’t freezing and what could be done about it.

  • Dawson City residents and Government of Yukon staff contributed their observations and thoughts to a National Research Council report on the ice bridge.

  • An attempt was made last January to induce formation on the river with a sprayer, but it was called off because of warm temperatures.

Media contact 

Janine Workman
Cabinet Communications

Meredith McDonald
Communications, Highways and Public Works

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