The Mackenzie Valley Highway will connect the Northwest Territories communities from Wrigley to the Arctic Coast. 

The Department worked with land-claim groups and organizations along the proposed highway alignment to provide a summary of information required to proceed to the environmental review phase of the project. This partnership approach ensured that local knowledge contributed significantly to the final reports and that the concerns and interests of local people were taken into account. Research for these reports included field work, consultations, and traditional knowledge.


  • Improved intercommunity mobility, embrace social opportunities and lower the cost of living in the region.
  • Replacing the existing winter road will support a more resilient transportation system in the face of climate change.
  • The corridor would create new economic opportunities such as increased tourism and access for mineral and petroleum resource development.
  • The Government of the Northwest Territories is working with the various land claimant organizations to advance the project
  • In 2009, an independent study on the economic effects of building the Mackenzie Valley Highway identified four overall economic effects from the proposed project.
    • Economic activity arising from the building and maintaining of the highway;
    • Reduction in the cost of living for communities that would be given all-weather access to southern markets and distribution;
    • An increase in tourism activities; and
    • Beneficial impacts on economic activity arising from the Mackenzie Gas Pipeline (MGP) project, including natural-gas field exploration and development in the Mackenzie Valley region.


  • The northernmost section of the MVH, the Inuvik Tuktoyaktuk Highway, opened to traffic on November 15, 2017.
  • Construction of a 14 kilometre-long access road from Norman Wells to Canyon Creek is currently underway, creating employment, training and business opportunities for local residents.
  • On November 6, 2017, the Government of the Northwest Territories submitted a comprehensive proposal to advance the project under Transport Canada’s National Trade Corridors Fund.
  • Six project phases have been identified:
    1. Construction of the Great Bear River Bridge
    2. Environmental assessment 
    3. Wrigley to Mount Gaudet access road
    4. Tulita to the Sahtu-Dehcho boundary
    5. Sahtu-Dehcho boundary to Mount Gaudet access road
  • Next steps include completing a Public Private Partnership business case, undertaking further engineering and environmental studies, and continuing the environmental assessment process.
Click  HERE to download the project backgrounder.