The suspension footbridge at Ross River, Yukon, has been closed due to safety concerns.

A Yukon government report this summer found the 70-year-old bridge is badly deteriorated. It noted the tower beams have twisted, the anchors are rusted, and the foundation has heaved.  

mi-ross-river-suspension-bridge

The 70-year-old suspension footbridge at Ross River, Yukon, has been closed due to safety concerns. (CBC)

Access to the bridge has been chained off while the government determines how it should be repaired.

"There are a number of options," said Wes Wirth with the Department of Community Services. "They range from a minor repair to refurbishing, [to] a new structure completely. But there's historic value to the bridge, too, so I think we need to weigh all those options and decide what is important to do in terms of the community as well as the public as a whole."

The wooden footbridge was built by the American army in the mid-1940s to carry the Canol pipeline across the Pelly River. Since then it's been a landmark in Ross River and people have relied on it when the local ferry can't operate.

Wirth said the cost of repairs could range anywhere from $600,000 to $5 million. He said the government is working with the Ross River Dena Council and Yukon's tourism department has also been involved in the discussions.

Repairs won't begin until next spring.