Update on the status of the Dawson ice bridge for January 5, 2024

The Government of Yukon understands the importance of the ice bridge to Dawson residents and is committed to keeping the public informed on the progress of its construction. The Yukon River in Dawson shows signs of ice formation but not enough to build an ice bridge at this time.

Currently, there is a large area of open water at the usual location of the ice bridge, which hinders its construction. Typically, the ice bridge is built by spraying water on formed ice so it can freeze in layers. However, this technique is not effective when there is open water at the ice bridge location.

Recent satellite imaging does show that the area of open water is getting smaller and ice is forming. Additionally, recent cold weather in the community is expected to continue and create favourable conditions for the ice to form to the required thickness.

Residents of the community are asked to avoid crossing the river by any method until a sanctioned ice bridge is in place. Doing so is dangerous and could lead to injury or death.

Yukoners who want to find up-to-date information on the status of the ice bridge can visit Yukon.ca/ice-bridge and check 511Yukon.ca.

Quick facts 
  • Last year, the bridge opened to light-duty vehicles (10,000 kilograms) on January 5, 2023. Heavy-duty vehicles (40,000 kilograms) could cross the ice bridge from February 2, 2023.

  • A tender has closed for the ice bridge construction, which means a contractor will build the bridge when the conditions are favourable and safe.

  • Ice formation in the ice bridge’s usual location was hindered by an ice jam in the Klondike River upstream of Dawson.

  • The current ice formation conditions are uncommon, but they have been seen in the past.

Media contact 

Antoine Goulet
Communications, Department of Highways and Public Works

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