The back end of the Eskimo Inn, which has sat empty for close to a decade, came down Aug. 29. If all goes according to plan, the entire building should be demolished by the end of next week.
Eric Bowling/NNSL photo

A section of Mackenzie Road will be closed next week to allow for the safe demolition of the front-end of the Eskimo Inn, which has sat empty for 10 years.

Inuvik Town councillors voted 7-0, with Coun. Kurt Wainman recusing himself due to pecuniary interest, on Sept. 30 to allow for the closure of Mackenzie Road between the Mack Travel Building and the Professional Building from Oct. 2-5. Access to the CIBC and Mad Trapper will be open for pedestrians.

However, on Oct. 1 the Town of Inuvik announced the demolition and road closure would not begin until Oct. 5, at the request of the contractor. The town now says the road will be closed from Oct. 5 to Oct. 8.

“I polled Council this morning about the change and they are okay,” said senior administrative officer Grant Hood. “I have also spoken to the contractor and the road may not be closed completely for the whole time now.

“From what we have been updated with it will start on Monday and end on Thursday or possibly earlier. There also maybe a situation with the road being partially opened depending on how the demolition goes. This is not a certainty as safety is the number one priority at this time.”

In the original plan, fences were to be moved at the end of each working day to allow for traffic flow in the evenings. Work on the site will be done from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“The sidewalk will remain open, there will be a physical barrier set up,” said Eskimo Inn owner Vince Brown. “The fence will start where the Professional Building and Eskimo Inn meet, it will travel directly across the road there, it will carry towards the south past the bank towards the loading bay at Northern, then it return back and the fence will go all the way down through the drive way between Mack Travel and the Eskimo.”

As the building contains Chrysotile, which is a type of asbestos, wind monitoring will be in place during the demolition of the building and work will be halted if the wind exceeds 20 kilometres/hour . The town has decreed that vehicles coming to pick up the debris from the demolition will travel to the site using Veteran’s Way, turning to Franklin Road then Millen Street then to Mackenzie Road. Vehicles taking the debris to the landfill will take Mackenzie Road out of town.

A diagram that was submitted to Town Council detailing the extent of the road closure to commence Oct. 5.
Photo courtesy Town of Inuvik

A water truck will be on hand to spray down material to control dust while waiting for the material to pick up. All workers will complete Asbestos Training prior to beginning demolition and daily meetings will be held to make sure everyone is on the same page and address concerns if they come up. Air quality on three sides of the work site will be conducted throughout the operation.

Workers will wear disposable coveralls, rubber steel toe boots and fit tested masks with P100 cartridges. Workers at the greatest risk of asbestos exposure will have personal monitoring devices to make their exposure at safe levels. A decontamination site will also be available for workers.

It’s estimated the debris will consist of between 75-100 loads. While council had previously approved a tipping fee reduction of 15 per cent, the hotel group doing the demolition has opted to pay the regular fee.

Eric Bowling

Breaking News Reporter and Digital Editor for NNSL, Eric operates out of Inuvik in the Beaufort Delta. He's four years into his Northern adventure and is eager to learn more about life in the Arctic Circle....

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