Beaver dam collapse destroys almost 250 foot section of ALCAN Highway
Traffic rerouted in single lane around collapse area, which could take 6 to 8 weeks to repair
YUKON, B.C. (KTUU) - A section of the Alaska-Canada Highway in Canada was destroyed Friday after a beaver dam let loose and washed out at the 898-kilometer marker on the British Columbia side of the border.
According to a spokesperson with Public Services and Procurement Canada, heavy rains in the area around mile 558 of the iconic highway — which starts in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, and ends in Delta Junction, Alaska — led to the collapse of a beaver dam uphill from the highway. The resulting flow of rock and tree debris blocked existing culverts and ended up backing up to the point where the highway was unable to hold it.
The spokesperson said a 75-meter stretch, or 246 feet, washed out in the incident, which happened just south of the border between British Columbia and Yukon Territory, near the Liard River.
A portion of Highway 97 between Fireside Maintenance Camp and Allend’s Lookout is going to reopen to a single lane with alternating traffic being guided by a pilot car.
A highway maintenance contractor arrived onsite later on Friday, according to the spokesperson, who said work on the highway is expected to take six to eight weeks to complete.
Canadian officials are recommending those who are traveling to use Highway 16 and Highway 37 as an alternate route.
Currently, crews are assessing the road, and are telling travelers to follow the pilot car and obey signs.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated with additional information.
Correction: This article has been updated to reflect the spelling of British Columbia.
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