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Ottawa, N.W.T. spend $14M in improvements to Inuvik Tuktoyaktuk Highway

The Canadian Press   

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INUVIK, N.W.T. – The federal and Northwest Territories governments are together spending $14 million toward the rehabilitation of the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway.

They say work on the 137-kilometre highway is to include raising low-profile embankment areas, improving drainage and installing guardrails.

The highway between Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk opened in November 2017.

It was the first all-season road in Canada’s Arctic and was built in an area of continuous permafrost.

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The federal government is to spend $10.5 million on the project, while the Northwest Territories is to contribute $3.5 million.

The governments say the highway helps residents in Tuktoyaktuk access essential services and goods and supports tourism.

“Being able to travel and access essential services year-round is so important to the lives of Northerners,” N.W.T. Liberal MP Michael McLeod said in a statement.

“The maintenance work will ensure continued access for the residents of Tuktoyaktuk to essential services, goods, tourism and ongoing economic opportunities.”

Research has indicated climate change and thawing permafrost are affecting infrastructure in the North, which is warming three times faster than the global average.

Scientists have been monitoring the permafrost along the Dempster and Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk highways.

The federal government says the project will make the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway more resilient and extend its lifespan.

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