The Goldfield Roads are a network of seasonally maintained gravel resource roads that access the Goldfields. The roads are used extensively during the spring, summer, and fall months providing access to approximately 200 active mining land use permits for placer and quartz mining properties. Placer mining activity within the Dawson Goldfields accounts for the majority of placer gold production in the Yukon (approximately $60 million annually) and is a critical industry for the local economy. Therefore providing safe, reliable, and efficient road access to support the existing mining operations and promote further development of the area is essential.
The Yukon Government retained Associated Engineering to complete a Functional Plan for the Goldfield Roads network which included five individual roads with a total length of approximately 250 kilometres. The Functional Plan considered the existing seasonal use, as well as the requirements to develop the Roads to an industrial haul route standard suitable for year-round operations and maintenance supporting mine development in the area.
We completed a site visit with the Yukon Government to assess the existing condition of the roads, culverts, and bridges. Common issues and deficiencies were noted with respect to geometrics, steep grades, road width, roadside drainage, glaciation, culvert condition, vegetation, and lack of gravel structure and surfacing material. We provided improvement options and order of magnitude cost estimates considering the requirements to maintain the road on a seasonal basis, as well as the improvements required for the roads to be operated and maintained year-round to support mining development in the area.