Image courtesy of the Department of Northwest Territories

First ever road to Canada’s Arctic coast to open this week

13 November 2017 | By Joe Quirke 0 Comments

The first permanent road linking Canada’s Arctic coast with the rest of the country will open on Wednesday this week.

Image courtesy of @Indigenous_ICE on Twitter

Work on the 120km all-weather highway began in 2014, connecting the town of Inuvik with the northern Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk, which is currently accessible only by airplane.

The US$236m road sourced raw resources from selected locations near the route. 

To protect the permafrost, the bulk of construction took place during the winter months and used “fill” rather than “cut and fill” techniques, which would have dug into surface vegetation.

Geotextile fabric will be placed between the ground and the road along the entire highway 

The Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk Highway was designed by local firm EGT Northwind under a contract with the Department of Infrastructure.

The project will create 40 long-term jobs in northern Canada, Tuktoyaktuk residents will benefit from a reduced cost of living as good will now be able to be shipped year-round and tourism in the region is expected to increase by 2.7m annually.

Darrel Nasogaluak, mayor of Tuktoyaktuk, said: “It’s something that’s been on the community’s want list for 40 years.”

Top image courtesy of the Department of Northwest Territories