April 8, 2016 Inuvik, Northwest Territories
The governments of Canada and the Northwest Territories are pleased to announce the joining of the north and south construction spreads of the Inuvik Tuktoyaktuk Highway, the first public highway to Canada’s Arctic coast. The contractor has successfully joined the two construction spreads with a first layer of embankment material placed on April 7, 2016. Geotextile fabric and additional earthworks to bring the embankment up to grade will be put in place by the end the month.
This key piece of transportation infrastructure is now concluding its third winter of construction. Once complete, it will create economic growth in the Beaufort Delta region by providing all-weather highway access to Tuktoyaktuk, which is currently served only by ice road, barge, and air. This project is delivering numerous socio-economic opportunities in the region by employing over 400 individuals at the peak of the construction season.
The scheduled opening to traffic is in the fall of 2017. The new highway will be the northern-most section of the envisioned Mackenzie Valley Highway that will connect Canada from coast-to-coast-to-coast. The highway will decrease the cost of living in Tuktoyaktuk by enabling goods to be transported year-round by road, increase opportunities for business development, reduce the cost of accessing onshore and offshore oil and gas opportunities, and strengthen Canada’s sovereignty in the North.
“The Inuvik Tuktoyaktuk Highway is an essential component of Northern transportation infrastructure. Not only will it create jobs and economic benefits for Northerners, but it will connect communities, support the transportation of goods, and increase the potential for economic development in the Northwest Territories. By working with our provincial, territorial and municipal partners, we are meeting Canadians’ needs and positioning Canada’s economy for the future.”
- The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
“This construction project exemplifies the 18th Legislative Assembly’s priority to invest in NWT transportation infrastructure and workforce development. We are pleased with the contractor’s progress and achievements in training and employing local residents to construct a highway under difficult conditions, unlike any other project in Canada.
With the economy, environment, and climate change among the priorities identified by the 18th Legislative Assembly, the Government of the Northwest Territories is pleased to highlight the Inuvik Tuktoyaktuk Highway construction project as one-of-a-kind highway initiative engineered to protect the regions continuous permafrost environment by adapting innovative construction methods. Our contractor has successfully met the target of joining the north and south construction spreads this season. The project remains on schedule for completion in the fall of 2017 and continues to be managed within the $299 million budget.”
- Wally Schumann, Minister of Transportation, Government of the Northwest Territories
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Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities