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Mr. Speaker, our territorial economy has suffered the impact of COVID-19 like every other jurisdiction in the country. Bouncing back stronger means investing in areas that provide for the immediate participation of our communities and maximizing benefits for our residents. Investments and improvements in transportation infrastructure is one area we know can have positive impacts on our economy. These investments connect our communities and ensure access to essential goods and services.
Regular maintenance of the Northwest Territories highway system creates the safest possible driving conditions, increases our territory’s resiliency to climate change and creates employment and training opportunities for residents.
Mr. Speaker, we can expect another busy construction season this summer. In fact, a total of $110 million dollars in improvements will be made to our highway system this year.
In the South Slave Region, rehabilitation work is planned for Highway No. 1 on 18 kilometres of highway. This work will include highway widening, replacing culverts and replacing chipseal. This will be part of a multi-year project, with work expected to be completed by September 2023. On Highway No. 5, work is currently underway to repair chipseal surface on a six-kilometre section of the highway, which will be followed by a granular crushing program this summer.
In the North Slave Region, Mr. Speaker, crews have already resumed work on the Tlicho Highway. Construction is on schedule to be completed this fall, with 52 kilometres left to be surfaced and one last bridge to be completed. This two-lane gravel highway will provide year-round access from NWT Highway No. 3 to the community access road to Whatı̀.
This year 168 kilometres of Highway No. 3 will be chipsealed and two kilometres of rehabilitation work will take place. This work will include Right-of-Way clearing, roadway strengthening, culvert replacement and line painting, and is expected to be completed this fall. Residents will see construction zone signs along the highway where crews will be resurfacing the road, stockpiling materials and conducting asphalt and chipseal repairs.
On Highway No. 4, the Ingraham Trail, roughly five kilometres will be rehabilitated. Work will include repairing dips, widening the embankment, replacing culverts and chipsealing.
On Highway No. 6, the Fort Resolution Highway, chipsealing will be carried out to roughly 20 kilometres.
In the Dehcho Region, rehabilitation work will take place this summer on Highway No. 7, the Liard Highway. Crews will focus on widening the embankment and replacing culverts. Work is expected to be completed in September 2023.
Mr. Speaker, in the Beaufort Delta Region, some construction will take place on Highway No. 8, the Dempster Highway. Rehabilitation work including embankment widening and bush clearing will take place along three to four kilometres of highway. Additionally, the marine by-pass highway widening will also take place along three kilometres of highway.
As temperatures rise and construction season begins, I would like to thank the dozens of dedicated workers who are maintaining and improving our highways every day. Your work is essential in the North. I would also like to remind drivers to watch for highway crews, slow down in construction zones and obey signs. I want all our Infrastructure employees and our contractor employers to return home safe to their families.
Mr. Speaker, our government will continue to work closely with all of our public and private sector partners so we can continue to build a transportation network that meets the current needs of our citizens and the needs of generations to come.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.