YELLOWKNIFE, N.W.T. — The Northwest Territories has developed a transportation infrastructure proposal aimed at getting its share of the federal government’s $2 billion Strategic Infrastructure Fund.
Called Corridors for Canada, the proposal calls on the feds to invest about $133 million into two transportation corridors in the territories – the Mackenzie Valley and the Slave Geologic Province – over a four-year period.
If the funding is received, permanent bridges may be built on the Mackenze Valley winter road, the Dempster Hwy. could be reconstructed and construction could start on the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk road. Other projects that may get the green light under the program include reconstruction and paving of Hwy. 3 and reconstruction of Hwy. 4. The Deh Cho Bridge across the Mackenzie River near Fort Providence is also listed as a priority.
If the funding is approved, the N.W.T. itself is prepared to dole out $67 million of its own, while Aboriginal and industry partners would chip in $43 million.
"Industry cannot be expected to fully fund improvements to the public highway system, but should contribute to certain projects according to the benefits derived," says N.W.T. Finance Minister, Joseph Handley. "It is an investment in the vast resource potential of the Northwest Territories which includes oil and gas exploration and development, a Mackenzie Valley pipeline, expansion of the diamond mining sector, hydro development and opportunities for expansion of the tourism sector."
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