The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) and Kátł'odeeche First Nation (KFN) are pleased to announce the official opening ceremony of the Kátł’odeh Bridge, on Highway 5 just east of the Town of Hay River and south of the Hay River Dene Reserve. Kátł’odeh means ‘willow grass river’ in Dene Yati and refers to the Hay River.
Today, Chief April Martel, and Diane Archie, Minister of Infrastructure, declared the bridge open with drum prayers and a ribbon cutting.
The Kátł’odeh Bridge opened to traffic in November 2019 while the project was fully completed in October 2020. An opening ceremony couldn’t be held at that time due to COVID-19.
The previous bridge – the Hay River to Pine Point Bridge –was built in 1965 and demolished in 2019 as it reached the end of its service life.
The new Kátł’odeh Bridge is wider, has an open deck, and is better designed for modern, heavier vehicles. It is expected to last longer than 75 years.
“I am pleased to celebrate the completion of the Kátł’odeh Bridge. Our government recognizes the importance of improving infrastructure in the NWT to make transportation better, safer and more reliable both in our communities and highway systems.”
- Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament for the Northwest Territories, on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
“As our territory evolves, our infrastructure must meet not only the current needs of our citizens, but also the needs of future generations. The Kátł’odeh bridge is expected to last longer than 75 years. We continue to work closely with public and private sector partners so we can continue to modernize our transportation system.”
- Diane Archie, Minister of Infrastructure
“The Kátł’odeeche Fırst Natıon thanks the Government of the Northwest Territories and Government of Canada for funding the reconstruction of this important bridge, which supports all season road access to all parts of the NWT and Canada for the people of the Hay River Dene Reserve, Fort Resolution, and Fort Smith. We are also very pleased to have the traditional Dene name of the river that the bridge crosses, Kátł’odeh, formally used and recognized. ”
- Chief April Martel
- The Kátł’odeh Bridge is located over the Hay River on Highway 5 near the junction of the Hay River Dene Reserve Access Road.
- The Kátł’odeh Bridge is 10 meters wide as opposed to 7.2 meter for the previous bridge.
- The $14 million budget for the Kátł’odeh bridge has been cost-shared between Infrastructure Canada (75 per cent), through the Small Communities, Fund and the GNWT (25 per cent).
- Construction was performed by Eiffage Innovative Canada Limited.
- The Hay River to Pine Point Bridge was built in 1965 and demolished in 2019.
- During construction, traffic was diverted to the adjacent rail bridge.
For media requests, please contact:
Department of Infrastructure
Government of the Northwest Territories
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
Toll free: 1-877-250-7154