Whatì will be connected to Highway 3 year-round as of 10 a.m. on Nov. 30, the Government of the Northwest Territories, the Government of Canada and the Tłı̨chǫ Government announced Nov. 3.

Tłı̨chǫ acting grand chief Sonny Zoe said he’s happy the joint effort will finish “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,” Zoe said.

Construction of the 97-km Tłı̨chǫ Highway started in 2019. The project is the result of a collaborative effort and funding from the federal, territorial and Tłı̨chǫ Governments, along with private business.

At the height of construction, 276 people were employed.

NWT member of Parliament Michael McLeod echoed praise for the timely completion of the “key peice of infrastructure” in the Nov. 3 announcement: “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.”

Though the road will open Nov. 30, the announcement advises an in-person ribbon-cutting event will be postponed due to Covid-19 health and safety concerns.

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