Inuvik’s gateway to the Arctic Ocean may soon have a new safety feature: guard rails.

Deputy premier Diane Archie and Northwest Territories MP Michael McLeod were in Inuvik Jan. 18 to announce $14 million in work to begin on the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk highway this summer.

“Investing in highway infrastructure in the Northwest Territories connects communities, enhances quality of life and helps reduce the cost of living for Northerners,” said Archie. “I’m pleased to be working with our federal partners on improving the Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk Highway.

“This investment will not only make the highway safer and more reliable, it will ensure residents continue to benefit from improved social, educational and economic opportunities.”

Costs for the project, which has yet to be tendered out, will be split between $10.5 million from the federal government and $3.5 million from the GNWT. Archie said the project would be completed over five years in $3 million increments.

Work will be specific to kilometres 22 through 90. A consultant has already been through the highway to identify the most depreciated parts of the road, which will be improved first. Work will include raising the embankment on lowered areas, improving drainage along the highway, replacing surface material and installing guard rails at key points.

Funding is provided through the federal government’s Investing in Canada Plan, which is a $180 billion fund distributed over 12 years to make improvements in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes — as well as for remote and Northern communities.

“Being able to travel and access essential services year-round is so important to the lives of Northerners,” said McLeod. “Today’s investment to rehabilitate key sections of the Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk Highway will improve the road’s safety for drivers.

“The maintenance work will ensure continued access for the residents of Tuktoyaktuk to essential services, goods, tourism and ongoing economic opportunities.”

Eric Bowling

Your source for all things happening in the Beaufort Delta. Eric jumped at the chance to write for the Inuvik Drum after cutting his teeth in Alberta. He enjoys long walks, loud music and strong coffee....

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