The official groundbreaking ceremony was held today in Whatì, Northwest Territories for the Tłı̨chǫ All-Season Road (TASR) – a new 97-kilometre all-season road to Whatì from Highway 3 west of Behchokǫ̀.
Currently, Whatì is a fly-in community except for the months it is accessible by winter road.
Replacing the winter road to Whatì with an all-season road will make the highway system more resilient to the impacts of climate change and could increase the window-of-access to the winter roads serving Gamètì and Wekweètì.
Construction is expected to take up to three years and will result in significant employment and training opportunities for Tłı̨chǫ residents, supporting the development of a strong northern workforce.
Once complete, the road is expected to reduce the cost of living for the region and will support intercommunity mobility, improved access to health care, tourism opportunities, and resource exploration and development.
The TASR project is being pursued as a public-private partnership (P3) with a total contract value of $411.8 million over twenty-eight years.
North Star Infrastructure (NSI) was selected in November 2018 to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the road. NSI is a consortium made up of Kiewit Canada Development Corp., and the Tłı̨chǫ Government, with Peter Kiewit Sons ULC, Hatch Corp. and Thurber Engineering Ltd.
The road is expected to officially open to traffic in 2022.
“The Tłı̨chǫ All-Season Road will significantly improve the lives of local residents. The all-weather road will provide the people of Whatì with year round access to more touristic and employment opportunities in the south as well as the ability to purchase goods and services at much lower prices.”
- The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
“Less than three years after the official opening of the Inuvik Tuktoyaktuk Highway, the Government of the Northwest Territories, with our partners, is preparing to start yet another transformative highway project: the Tłı̨chǫ All-Season Road. This 97-kilometre road will bring many positive benefits to residents of the Tłı̨chǫ region and residents across the NWT for generations to come. Our government will continue to work closely with our public and private sector partners to advance strategic infrastructure projects across the Northwest Territories.”
- Wally Schumann, Minister of Infrastructure and Industry, Tourism and Investment
“Our elders have talked about the need for an all-season road to the community of Whatì for many many years, and today we see this becoming a reality. We are proud that this road represents a true collaboration between the Community Government of Whatì, Tłı̨chǫ Government, Canada and the GNWT. We have been involved in all phases of the development of this road, and are now a true partner through our equity investment in construction and operations. We know that this road will bring both impacts and benefits to the community, and we have been preparing for both. Today is an exciting day for the community of Whatì and the whole Tłı̨chǫ region.”
- Chief Alfonz Nitsiza, Whatì, Tłı̨chǫ Government
- The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) is working in partnership with the Tłı̨chǫ Government to advance the project.
- The project is funded jointly by the Government of Canada (25%) and the Government of the Northwest Territories (75%). The Tłı̨chǫ government has a 20 per cent equity stake in the project.
- The 97-kilometre gravel road is expected to take up to three years to complete.
Public Affairs and Communications
Department of Infrastructure
Government of the Northwest Territories
867-767-9082 (extension 31046)