Two major road projects in 2018 should smooth out the road from Inuvik to the highway but will bring delays and detours along the way.

Cameron MacDonald, junior project engineer, left, and Kamran Ata, structural standards engineer, present to council the plan to replace a culvert on hospital hill, which will result in approximately eight weeks of a detour through town needed.
Stewart Burnett/NNSL photo

“I think we’re going to feel like a big city for the next year,” said deputy mayor Steve Baryluk at council in early November.

Airport Road will be getting two years of work starting this summer, which will result in delays and traffic control, while the Inuvik access road, better known as Hospital Hill, will be having a culvert replaced this winter. That project will take approximately eight weeks and the road will be closed off for construction, so drivers will have to use the bypass road at the top of town to get in and out of Inuvik.

“We will be replacing one of the culverts at the bottom of the hill where there’s a bit of a dip,” said junior project engineer Cameron MacDonald. “In order to do that we have to close the road, dig out the old culvert, dispose of it and put the new one in. Because the road will be closed for a period of eight weeks, people will have to use the detour up around town.”

The 45-year-old culvert at the bottom of Hospital Hill is to blame for the bumpy section of road down there, which should be fixed with the construction this winter.

Some drivers might be tempted to sneak through the road by the Nova Inn.

“That’s private property,” said MacDonald. “We can put up a sign saying it’s private property and there’s no access. If the owners of the property would like, we can barricade the road.”

Work is slated to take place starting Jan. 15 and finishing by April 30. The project is out to tender so a timeframe of when exactly construction – which is predicted to take eight weeks – will begin is not yet known. It will likely begin sometime between Jan. 15 and March 1.

“We will have more certainties as we progress into tender award and then knowing the schedule,” said Kamran Ata, structural standards engineer.

He and MacDonald held an open house in Inuvik recently to inform the public of the detour this winter.

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