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Yellowknife set to kick off construction season

Construction on Franklin Avenue created traffic jams and detours for drivers last summer.
Brendan Burke/NNSL photo.

It’s good news for Yellowknife drivers as city employee Wendy Alexander says this year's spring and summer construction season will be quieter than usual.

"In general we are not expecting huge traffic detours," said Alexander, engineering manager with the department of public works. "There may be some congestion points but there's no major detours expected. I'm not going to say they won't occur, but none are expected."

At a Governance and Priorities Committee meeting on Monday, Alexander told city council about the summer construction projects that will be taking place as the weather warms.

Residents can expect fewer road closures and detours this year compared to the previous two years, she said.

However, the city will be undertaking several major projects including park and trail improvements, road resurfacing and upgrades to city facilities.

One busy area will be the intersection of Kam Lake Road and Franklin Avenue, where cameras and countdown pedestrian crosswalks are being installed.

"This will allow us to have an intersection that is dependent on vehicle flow as opposed to time-of-day programming," said Alexander.

Coun. Julian Morse noted that this intersection has long posed problems and said it should be rebuilt.

"This was identified as number one intersection in the city in terms of being a choke point and a problem for active transportation," he said. "That intersection continues to be a problem and I'd like to see a redesign in the somewhat near future. As we finish up connecting the Kam Lake via multi use pathway, if we actually want people commuting that way, it needs to be addressed."

In addition to the construction projects listed below, there will be improvements to transit stops, pump houses, lift stations, the fire hall and structural repairs at the sewage lagoon.

Frame Lake

  • Four projects will take place in Frame lake, including a park at the Hordal Road and Bagon Drive area which is expected to go in this year.
  • Calder Crescent will be paved starting in June.
  • Dagenais Drive will see sewer work from last year being completed.

Franklin, Old Airport, Forrest, Range Lake

  • Paving will take place on Old Airport road to Norseman Drive and in the left hand lane onto Range Lake Road.
  • Resurfacing will be done on Old Airport Road on the right hand side, including the entrance to McDonald's.
  • Stinson Road, Archibald Street and Bellanca Avenue will be resurfaced.
  • Borden Drive will receive a right turn lane onto Old Airport Road near the entrance to Walmart.
  • Fire Hall will have dispatch equipment upgrades and additionally a study will be undertaken to see if the 30-year-old building is up to standard.
  • Tommy Forrest park will receive a new building and washrooms and the installation of a playground in the area.
  • On Forrest Drive there will be repaving between Reservoir Road and 51A Avenue to address dips along the road.


  • City hall and Somba K'e Civic Plaza will receive upgrades due to an accessibility audit.
  • There will be repaving on 49 Street between the old visitors centre and 49 Avenue.

Old Town

  • A push-button crosswalk will be installed at Bretzlaff Drive.
  • Slope stabilization will take place at the McMeekan Causeway. An engineering firm has already been awarded the contract and administration is waiting on a design before determining when construction will happen.

Niven Lake

  • Trail enhancements.
  • A back up power source will be installed at lift station number 12.

Solid Waste Facility

  • Upgrades to the baling facility and boiler system.
  • Installation of weighing station.
  • An additional monitoring well will be installed near Highway 4.