WHITEHORSE—The Pelly barge, also known as the Ross River ferry, is expected to begin operation on June 9 with a restricted sailing schedule and subject to local conditions.
“We recognize the importance of the ferry to the community of Ross River, to commercial operators that are working along the North Canol Road, and to visitors who want to experience the history and beauty of our territory first hand,” Minister of Highways and Public Works Wade Istchenko said. “We’ve developed a modified schedule that minimizes the risks to ferry users and operators.”
The Pelly barge will operate from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. seven days a week. Vehicles, equipment, and a maximum of six individuals at a time – including the ferry operator – will be permitted on the ferry.
A rescue boat will be on standby during all crossings. Localized risks such as water level, debris in the river, weather conditions and the stability of the bridge will be evaluated daily and may result in the cancellation of a crossing if the conditions are too risky.
Passengers will be required to sign a Waiver, Release and Indemnification Agreement prior to using the ferry. The ferry may have to cease operations without warning and all users need to be aware of the risks and realities associated with choosing to cross the river, including the possibility that vehicles and equipment may be stranded on the north side of the river.
“The likelihood and severity of the risks posed by the Ross River suspension bridge are complex and difficult to quantify; therefore, the only option is to make individuals aware of the risk they are taking when they choose to use the ferry, to limit the exposure of the ferry crew and users and to have practiced procedures in place for dealing with an emergency situation,” Istchenko added.
Ferry operation details will be finalized once the ferry is back in the water and the emergency procedures have been confirmed through practice and testing.
Interested users are encouraged to phone ahead to see if the ferry is in operation. Commercial operators with specialized needs, such as transporting oversize equipment or livestock, are urged to make additional arrangements to book a time to get across the river. Please phone 867-667-5644 or toll-free at 1-800-661-0408 ext. 5644.
The Pelly barge normally operates from late May to early October.
Communications, Highways and Public Works