Whitehorse's Robert Service Way expected to reopen 'later this week'

·2 min read
A sheet pile wall, built to mitigate the damage from any future potential landslide, has been built alongside Robert Service Way in Whitehorse. The city said it is finishing strengthening the wall with an earth berm, which should be 'finished soon.' (Submitted by City of Whitehorse - image credit)
A sheet pile wall, built to mitigate the damage from any future potential landslide, has been built alongside Robert Service Way in Whitehorse. The city said it is finishing strengthening the wall with an earth berm, which should be 'finished soon.' (Submitted by City of Whitehorse - image credit)

Robert Service Way in Whitehorse is expected to reopen "later this week," city officials say, now that work is complete on a sheet pile wall where a landslide happened in April.

The adjoining Millennium Trail, however, will remain closed.

In a news release Monday afternoon, the city said it will not use traffic control measures on Robert Service Way when the roadway reopens.

The release stated crews are still building an earth berm to strengthen the sheet pile wall. That work is expected to be "finished soon."

The thoroughfare into Whitehorse's downtown has been closed since April 30 when about 2,000 cubic metres of sand, silt and soil fell from the escarpment across Robert Service Way and the Millennium Trail, and then into the Yukon River.

Officials said they would reopen the road once a sheet pile wall, which is made by connecting corrugated steel sheets together and driving them into the ground, was built to minimize the damage of another potential future landslide in the area.

Vincent Bonnay/CBC
Vincent Bonnay/CBC

City officials determined the slide took place because there was too much moisture in the soil at the time.

They added they've been monitoring the escarpment, which borders the west side of the city, every day since the April 30 slide.

"There has been minimal observed movement on the escarpment, but with the anticipated rainfall we continue to monitor the area closely," the city's news release states.

Since April 30, there have been at least three other landslides on the escarpment, which have resulted in an evacuation order for three homes downtown and the closure of several trails and parks along the escarpment.

The city said it is continuing to assess the areas where the trails have been closed but doesn't expect to reopen any of them until at least July 1.

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