INUVIK, NWT— Construction has begun on the first year-round road between the Arctic coast and the rest of Canada.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, present at the ground-breaking ceremony on Jan. 8, commented: “The all-season Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk highway will, for the first time by road, connect and unify Canada from sea to sea to sea. This historic project realizes the visionary initiative of Canadian Prime Minister John Diefenbaker back in the 1960’s.”
“Prime Minister Diefenbaker knew then what our Government is undertaking today: constructing a highway will improve the lives of people living in the North for generations to come, facilitating economic development, creating jobs and enabling cost-effective, safe and reliable transportation of goods to and from Northern communities,” Harper said.
Once completed, the 137-km all-season highway will link the Town of Inuvik and the Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk, an Arctic community currently accessible only by an ice road, barge or air. The highway effectively extends the Dempster Highway through to the Arctic coast.
The new stretch of highway is expected to be completed in 2018 and will provide more efficient transport of northern products and resources to southern markets.
The government estimates that hundreds of jobs will be created during the four-year construction period in addition to an estimated 51 permanent careers after its completion.
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