On-Site Magazine

Final winter construction season begins on the Inuvik Tuktoyaktuk Highway

By Corinne Lynds   

Construction Infrastructure Roads highway ice road Inuvik roads winter road

Inuvik Tuktoyaktuk Highway

Inuvik Tuktoyaktuk Highway

This season will see the construction of the final 3.5 kilometres of the Inuvik Tuktoyaktuk Highway, along with two bridges and eight culverts. Next summer, final grading and surfacing work as well as the installation of traffic signs and guardrails will be completed. The entire project is expected to wrap up by fall 2017.

“I am very pleased with the progress being made on the historic Inuvik Tuktoyaktuk Highway which will connect Canada by road from coast to coast to coast. In addition to moving goods and people, it will serve as a key link in connecting Northern communities. Such infrastructure investments create jobs and encourage economic growth for the middle class and those working hard to join it. We will continue to build the infrastructure of the 21st century to ensure a high quality of life for generations to come,” said Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament for the Northwest Territories.

The construction of the Inuvik Tuktoyaktuk Highway is delivering many socio-economic, employment and training opportunities to the Beaufort Delta region. The project has consistently employed more that two thirds of its workforce from the Inuvik region and other communities in the Territory. As well, research into various construction techniques being used, along with future testing of the highway’s performance, will provide much needed expertise when planning future transportation infrastructure across the North.

“The Inuvik Tuktoyaktuk Highway will be the first ever Canadian all-weather highway to the Arctic Ocean. This extraordinary national achievement represents strong partnership between the Government of the Northwest Territories and the Government of Canada on a nation-building project that has had significant impact on our economy. Transportation has always been at the forefront of enabling Northerners to grow and develop our economy, and never has it been more important to guaranteeing our future growth and prosperity than it does today, said Wally Schumann, Minister of Transportation, Government of the Northwest Territories.


Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada will provide more than $180 billion in infrastructure funding over 12 years to support public transit, green and social infrastructure, transportation infrastructure that supports trade, and rural and northern communities.
  • The Inuvik Tuktoyaktuk Highway is a collaborative project of the Government of Canada, the Government of the Northwest Territories, the Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk, and the Town of Inuvik.
  • The Government of Canada is contributing $200 million towards this project, while the Government of the Northwest Territories is contributing $99 million. The total estimated cost of the project is $299 million.
  • $40 million in wages have stayed in the North and $90 million in subcontract work has been invested in the region through accommodations, helicopters, catering, and equipment rentals.
  • The Inuvik Tuktoyaktuk Highway involves the construction of a 137-kilometre gravel road, which will provide year-round overland access to Tuktoyaktuk on the Beaufort Sea, currently only served by an ice road, barge or air.


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