The Government of the Northwest Territories, the Government of Canada and the Tłı̨chǫ Government announced the opening of the Tłı̨chǫ Highway – also known as Highway 9 – on November 30, 2021.
“The Tłı̨chǫ All-Season Road is a key piece of infrastructure that will have a long-lasting, positive impact on the lives of Northerners,” said Michael McLeod, MP for the Northwest Territories. “This investment will help ensure that the people of Whatì have year-round access to essential services and a reduced cost of living. And, by partnering with the private sector, the project was delivered on time and on budget. Congratulations to everyone involved in realizing this important infrastructure project.”
The 97-kilometre two-lane gravel highway will connect the community of Whatì access road to Highway 3 and the national highway system all year-round. To date, Whatì has been a fly-in community outside of the months it was accessible by winter road.
“The Tłı̨chǫ Highway is an excellent example of Federal, GNWT, Tłı̨chǫ Government working together with industry to provide a very important piece of infrastructure for our communities,” added Sonny Zoe, Tłı̨chǫ Acting Grand Chief. “The Tłı̨chǫ Highway will continue to provide long term jobs to Tłı̨chǫ people throughout the 25-year maintenance period, and I am pleased that our Tłı̨chǫ partnership North Star Infrastructure completed this job ‘on time and on budget’. This project has been a vision of the Tłı̨chǫ people for over 40 years, and we are proud of what we have all accomplished for the present and future generations.”
The Tłı̨chǫ Highway will provide new economic opportunities, increased tourism, and improved accessibility. The new highway will also increase the winter road window-of-access to the communities of Gamètì and Wekweètì.
“Infrastructure investments are critical to the development of our territory, and the opening of the Tłı̨chǫ Highway is an example of what strong partnerships across government and industry can mean for the Northwest Territories,” said Northwest Territories Premier Caroline Cochrane. “The Tłı̨chǫ Highway connects residents to new social and employment opportunities, reduces the cost of living in the territory, increases our resiliency and our ability to adapt to the impacts of climate change, and provides better access to natural resources.”
Featured image: The Tłı̨chǫ Highway opened on November 30. (Twitter/@GNWT_INF)