Canada’s North bridges transportation issues

WHITEHORSE — The widening of two bridges in Canada’s North is expected to provide safer access to key communities in the Yukon and Northwest Territories.

Yukon Highways and Public Works Minister Archie Lang reported that the McClintock River Bridge rehabilitation project has been completed ahead of schedule and under budget.

“The life of the bridge has been extended by 40 to 50 years,” Lang said. “Refurbishment of this important transportation link will benefit all Yukoners for years to come.”

The bridge was widened by 47 percent, and reconstruction included: deck replacement; new girders installation and bearing replacement; extended piers; new guard rails and widened road approaches; and complete painting of the substructure for rust protection.

The project was partially funded by the Canadian Strategic Infrastructure Fund. The bridge reopened to two-lane traffic on July 30 and was fully completed in August 2009.

In the Northwest Territories, the newly constructed longer, wider Kakisa River Bridge is now open to traffic. Restrictions on the speed of commercial traffic that were required on the old Kakisa bridge have also been lifted.

The new Kakisa River Bridge was jointly funded by the territory and the federal government for a total cost of $18 million.

“The new Kakisa River Bridge will improve safety standards while connecting local residents to commercial links,” said John Baird, Minister of Transport and Infrastructure.

The bridge is an essential link on the primary road access between Alberta and the Deh Cho, North Slave, and Sahtu communities.

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