The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) and the Government of Canada will be making a combined investment of $20 million to replace the Dehk’è Frank Channel bridge, a critical piece of roads infrastructure in the province.
The Government of Canada is investing $15 million under the National Trade Corridors Fund (NTCF) while the GNWT is providing $5 million toward the completion of the project. This funding increase is vital to addressing inflation and market escalations, which have significantly added to costs beyond the available funding for projects in the Northwest Territories and across Canada.
The Dehk’è Frank Channel bridge is a critical component of Highway 3, the supply route from Southern Canada, which is part of the National Highway System and the only highway corridor into North Slave Region, Yellowknife, and numerous mines and mineral development areas. The new bridge will be able to support heavier loads and wider and taller commodities, making the region more accessible.
Pre-construction activities such as material crushing and surveying are expected to start later this year. Pending regulatory approvals, major construction is expected to begin as early as next year. It will take approximately three years to obtain permits, carry out the design, complete construction and open the bridge to traffic.
In August 2021, the Government of Canada announced an investment of $37.5 million in this project under the NTCF. The GNWT committed to providing $12.5 million for the new Dehk’è Frank Channel bridge, as the bridge is 63 years old and has surpassed its design service life, despite repairs and remedial works over the years. The new bridge will be adjacent to the existing one. Demolition of the existing bridge and site reclamation will be completed after the new bridge opens to traffic.
“The Dehk’è Frank Channel Bridge is a key piece of infrastructure of the Northwest Territories’ highway system. Investment into this project is of great importance to Tłı̨chǫ residents, the Tłı̨chǫ Government and to the GNWT, and we can all agree that we are eager for it to get underway. Today’s announcement shows the great discussions and collaborations between Canada and the GNWT, and our common commitment to make strategic infrastructure investments and improve quality of life for NWT residents,” says Diane Archie, minister of infrastructure.