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    Third and Fourth Bridges Along Annie Lake Road Decommissioned for Foreseeable Future

    Crews are barricading the bridge over Becker Creek (kilometer 37 of Annie Lake Road) to prevent motorists from going over it.

    Director of Transportation Engineering Paul Murchison says the Becker and Wheaton Creek Bridges at kilometre 37 and 44 along Annie Lake Road are closed indefinitely to motorists for the foreseeable future.

    Director of Transportation Engineering Paul Murchison says  the Becker and Wheaton Creek Bridges at kilometre 37 and 44 along Annie Lake Road are closed indefinitely to motorists for the foreseeable future.

    Following a media tour of the first bridge, Murchison highlighted cracked beams, potential foundation failure from moist and worn-out nails, and tearing occurring inside the internal structure of the bridge as reasons for it's closure.

    While Murchison says the fourth bridge on the road was already closed for motorists for the past few years, a recent inspection of the third Becker Creek bridge along the road by highway crews highlighted the necessity for its immediate closure.

    "This bridge was inspected last week and we put some barriers up here to block traffic. It wasn't an actual barrier, just some signage and some candles. People are still using the bridge. The sign and candles have been moved. You can see tracks on the bridge, so we're now going to put a physical barrier up here today. Essentially it will be some boulders and some lock blocks to keep people from driving on the bridge.We don't want people to go across it and fail the structure." 

    Murchison says fixing the third and fourth bridges along Annie Lake Road would likely cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    "So the typical cost  in replacing one of these bridges would be in the order of $300,00-500,000. It could get even more expensive than that, but on a low-volume road like this, that's roughly what we would be spending.  Currently, our plans are to keep people off this bridge. This is bridge number three and we're going to barricade it. We have no formal plans in the future other than to keep people off it. The fourth bridge has been blocked since 2014."

    Murchison highlights aside from Carcross/Tagish First Nation settlement land and an old mine at the end of the road, the road only is typically used for recreationalists during good weather.

    Murchison says one reason to not repair the third and fourth bridges were due to other priorities in the territory's maintenance budget.

    "We also have to consider our total capital budget , which is what we have to work on our roads. We do have limited funding, so decisions are based on overall need. Although this is a popular recreational area, our primary highways like the Alaskan and Klondike Highways are the priority roads that we fund." 

    Murchison highlights removal of the third and fourth bridges  are other options for the territorial government to consider down the road if they're not repaired.  

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