Official name unveiled for new all-season highway to Whatì
YELLOWKNIFE (November 24, 2020) – The Government of the Northwest Territories and Tłı̨chǫ Government are pleased to announce the official name of the new all-season road to Whatì as the Tłı̨chǫ Highway, or Highway 9.
Formerly known as the Tłı̨chǫ All-Season Road, the new name underscores the importance of this new highway for the Tłı̨chǫ region, which will provide year-round access to Whatì and increase the window of access for the winter roads to the communities of Gamètì and Wekweètì.
Currently, the winter roads to Gamètı̀ and Wekweètı̀ can only open for the season after the winter road to Whatı̀ has opened, which is the winter road that is most vulnerable to fluctuating conditions. With an all-season road to Whatì, the winter roads to Gamètı̀ and Wekweètı̀ will likely open sooner and close later.
Set to open in the fall of 2021, the new highway will help reduce the cost of living for the region and support new social opportunities, while helping attract further interest from industry in the exploration and development of natural resources.
Infrastructure projects, such as the Tłı̨chǫ Highway, will continue to play a significant part in the COVID-19 economic recovery. Not only do such projects inject money into the economy, they also provide business and employment opportunities for residents, while delivering the critical infrastructure the NWT needs.
The Public Highways Act has been updated to reflect the new official name. Quotes
“With one year until the official opening, excitement is building around the new Tłı̨chǫ Highway. Working in partnership with Indigenous governments is a normal part of how the GNWT does business. I thank the Tłı̨chǫ Government for their continued partnership on this strategic infrastructure project.”
- Diane Archie, Minister of Infrastructure
“This road is the result of many years of planning, partnerships and hard work by former and present leaders and our collective governments. This is the way any projects on Indigenous land should be developed. Our partnership with the GNWT and Kiewit has been a great success for our people and companies, and there is great potential for future projects in our region.”
- George Mackenzie, Grand Chief, Tłı̨chǫ Government
- 256 people have been employed, including 109 local residents
- 97 kilometres of right-of-way clearing has been completed
- 85 kilometres of embankment has been constructed
- 48 bridge piles have been installed
- 9,599 hours of local job training has been held