One Road Leads to Another
The existence of the Alaska Highway spurred construction of other roads in the Yukon. The first was a road connecting Mayo with Whitehorse. This provided an efficient way to haul ore to Whitehorse where it could then be transported by rail to ships at Skagway. This road also connected to Dawson City, and its year round use brought an end to riverboat traffic by 1955. Twenty years later, a road connected Skagway with Whitehorse.
Since the construction of the Alaska Highway, a greater awareness of the fragility of the natural environment has developed. In the Yukon, this awareness creates a dilemma, as the territory relies on two main industries: mining, which alters the environment; and tourism, which depends on preserving its natural beauty. The Alaska Highway jump-started the development of these industries and in doing so, brought the Yukon into the twentieth century. It is difficult to predict the future, but it is likely that the highway will continue to affect the lives of Yukoners in a significant way.