Ross River, Yukon, lobbies to save old suspension bridge
70-year-old footbridge in need of repairs
People in Ross River, Yukon, want the territorial government to save the 70-year-old wooden suspension bridge in the community, which they say is a heritage site.
The footbridge was built in 1942 by the American army to carry a pipeline across the Pelly River as part of the Second World War Canol Road project.
For years, the bridge has been a vital part of the community. People rely on it when the ferry is closed at night, and during spring and fall.
Last year, the Yukon government found the structure was badly deteriorated and closed it.
But residents do not want to lose what they see as an essential piece of Ross River history.
"It's an important bridge," said Ross River resident Dennis Shorty.
"It's the history behind it, and people go across all the time. People living across the other side, they use that bridge daily, even people hiking to go across. The ferry is open till five and that's it, you know. We need that bridge."
People know the bridge is dangerous to use but that's not stopping them.
"Yes, I have myself used it just recently," said Robert Dick. "It’s still there, it's risky now but we hope they can restore it." The chief of the Ross River Dena Council said the community is prepared to fight to keep the bridge.
"There was a protest [against] having it torn down in the past," said Brian Ladue, Chief of the Ross River Dena Council.
"It's something that community members feel very passionate about keeping so we as leadership will do what we can to make sure it's kept or restored."
Ladue said he'll work with the Yukon government to explore any options to save the bridge.