Governments of Canada and the Northwest Territories celebrate the successful completion of final winter construction season on the Inuvik Tuktoyaktuk Highway

Inuvik, Northwest Territories, May 25, 2016—Modern public infrastructure is key to supporting the unique needs of northern communities. Investing in transportation infrastructure, including all-season highways and well maintained local and resource road networks, creates stronger northern communities, attracts new investment and helps businesses efficiently move products to where they are needed.

The last winter construction season of the Inuvik Tuktoyakyuk Highway (ITH) concluded last month, and consisted of completing the final two bridges, as well as crushing and stockpiling surface gravel. Construction this summer season will focus on grading, packing, and shaping the base of the highway in preparation for gravel surfacing. Signage and guardrails will be installed this fall.

The ITH is scheduled to be completed by November 15, 2017. Upon opening, it will be the first public highway to the Arctic Ocean, connecting Canada coast to coast to coast. The highway will decrease the cost of living in Tuktoyaktuk by allowing for year-round transportation of goods by road, and support new economic opportunities in the region by enhancing tourism and reducing the costs of development.


“The Government of Canada is pleased to support this critical piece of transportation infrastructure in Northern Canada, which will increase the potential for economic development and support the transportation of goods in the region. This project will provide greater opportunities, and a better quality of life for those living and working in the North. I look forward to taking part in the celebrations this fall when the Inuvik Tuktoyaktuk Highway officially opens.”

Michael McLeod,
Member of Parliament for the Northwest Territories
On behalf of the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

“The opening of the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway will represent an important milestone for the Northwest Territories in expanding the transportation system to connect communities, reduce the cost of living, improve access to natural resources, and facilitate increased tourism. The project has already contributed to significant local training and employment and will continue to provide social, political, and economic opportunities for residents as a new era of uninterrupted access begins for the community of Tuktoyaktuk.”

Wally Schumann,
Minister of Infrastructure, Government of the Northwest Territories

Quick Facts

  • Building an all-season road to the Arctic coast has been a priority for both territorial and federal governments since the 1960s.
  • The Government of Canada is contributing $200 million toward the ITH project, while the Government of the Northwest Territories is contributing $99 million.
  • The Government of Canada will provide more than $180 billion in infrastructure funding over 12 years for public transit, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, transportation that supports trade, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.
  • To meet the unique needs of rural and northern communities, Budget 2017 proposes to invest $2 billion to support a broad range of infrastructure projects.

Associated Links

Government of Canada’s $180-billion+ infrastructure plan in Budget 2017

Federal infrastructure investments in the Northwest Territories

Inuvik Tuktoyaktuk Highway project

The Department of Infrastructure


Brook Simpson
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

Greg Hanna

Communications Coordinator
Department of Infrastructure
Government of the Northwest Territories
867-767-9082 ext. 31046
Follow us on Twitter: @GNWT_DOT

Infrastructure Canada
Toll free: 1-877-250-7154 
Follow us on Twitter at @INFC_eng