Yesterday evening, Government of Yukon staff and Tetra Tech engineers assessed the progress of the Dawson ice bridge.
Conditions have been challenging for the workers attempting to induce ice formation during the past week due to higher-than-normal temperatures. Based on the progress to date, engineers estimated that it would take a further 90 days to complete the bridge.
As a result, it was determined that there was not enough ice formation to justify the government continuing with the project.
Climate change is transforming the world we live in. The Dawson crew made a valiant effort to make this work, but weather is capricious and sometimes things don’t work out as planned. I’ve asked my team to go back to the drawing board and see what other options they can come up with for next year.
Minister of Highways and Public Works Richard Mostyn
The contractor has successfully built ice bridges on the Athabasca, Peel, and Mackenzie rivers using this technique.
The Yukon River is 400 metres wide at the point where the George Black ferry makes its crossing. Currently, there is 90 metres of open water in that area.
Approximately 100 people live in West Dawson and rely on the ferry or ice bridge to cross the Yukon River.