Department of Transportation Plans Studies on Realignment of Tlicho Winter Road
YELLOWKNIFE (21 February, 2007) – A request for proposals to conduct engineering and environmental studies, which would help guide future decisions about changing the alignment of the winter road to the Tlicho communities in the Northwest Territories (NWT), is to be issued by the Department of Transportation.
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) will help pay for the studies with a $460,000 contribution from its Targeted Investment Program. The Department of Transportation, Tlicho government and private industry will combine funding to match the INAC contribution. Studies should be completed by this fall.Realignment would enable the Department of Transportation to lengthen the operating season for the existing winter road that crosses many frozen lakes, rivers, ponds, muskeg and swamp as it connects Highway 3 to the Tlicho communities of Whati and Gameti. A new route built over land wherever possible would also be suitable for construction of an all-weather road in the future.
“Improved road access to Tlicho communities would create many direct benefits for Tlicho residents,” said NWT Transportation Minister Kevin Menicoche. “Advantages would include easier travel between communities, better access to services, lower resupply costs and more resupply options.”
Minister Menicoche said Tlicho residents could also benefit potentially from employment, training and contracting opportunities during construction and maintenance of the winter road and all-weather road. He said better road access into the region could also boost road-based tourism travel and make it more attractive for mining companies to explore and develop in the Tlicho region.
“Canada’s New Government is pleased to play a major role in the Tlicho road project, which will help local industry, and Tlicho businesses and community members take advantage of the growing economic and social opportunities in the NWT and contribute to the development of a sustainable, diversified economy in the Tlicho,” said Jim Prentice, federal Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.
“This project study is a positive development that will stimulate discussion in Tlicho communities about the benefits and impacts that would eventually arise from improving road access to the region,” says George Mackenzie, Grand Chief of the Tlicho Government. “The discussion and information generated by the study will prepare us to make decisions that are in the best interest of our communities.”
A map and backgrounder are posted on the web site of the Department of Transportation at: http://www.dot.gov.nt.ca/_live/pages/wpPages/Tlicho_MapandBackground.aspx
For more information, contact:
Department of Transportation
Government of the Northwest Territories
Tel: (867) 873-7813