The last winter construction season of the Inuvik Tuktoyaktuk Highway (ITH) has concluded. The work 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 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,” said Wally Schumann, minister of infrastructure for the Government of the Northwest Territories. “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.”
The Government of Canada is contributing $200 million toward the ITH project, while the Government of the Northwest Territories is contributing $99 million.