Alaska Highway reopens following Canada Day washout

The highway is open to single-lane traffic with a pilot car guiding travellers.

A photo from July 1 shows the damage done to the Alaska Highway by a washout near Contact Creek just south of the British Columbia/Yukon Border (Yukon Highways and Public Works/Facebook)

A photo from July 1 shows the damage done to the Alaska Highway by a washout near Contact Creek just south of the British Columbia/Yukon Border (Yukon Highways and Public Works/Facebook)

The Alaska Highway has partially reopened following a road washout on Canada Day that closed it.

Photos from July 1 published by the Yukon government’s highways department show a deep scar through the highway embankment with traffic stopped on both sides.

The washout is at Alaska Highway kilometre 898, just south of the Yukon/British Columbia border near Contact Creek.

DriveBC, British Columbia’s highway information service, stated that the highway reopened to single-lane alternating traffic with a pilot car on the afternoon of July 4.

A full detour has also been available by way of B.C. Highways 16 and 37 entering the Yukon west of Watson Lake.

The disruption of truck traffic led to sparsely-stocked shelves at some Whitehorse grocery stores in the days following the washout. Wykes’ Independent had notices posted saying that stock had not yet arrived — as of July 4 the Real Canadian Superstore was still limiting purchases of essential products to two per customer but stated on their Facebook page that they were expecting a truck by this evening.

The Food Bank Society of Whitehorse also urged people not to panic buy or hoard groceries stating that trucks have been diverted but will be back at stores soon.

“The best thing we can do, is just purchase what we need, and wait for the trucks to get to the stores so things can stabilize once more. Thanks to everyone who is already doing this, and thinking of their community while they are shopping,” the notice posted to the society’s Facebook page reads.

Contact Jim Elliot at jim.elliot@yukon-news.com

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