Demand for new roads, improved all-weather and winter roads, and airport runway extensions is increasing. These investments in transportation infrastructure support development, inter-community travel, and a reduced cost of living in communities across the NWT.
Expanding the Northwest Territories’ transportation system will diversify the economy and improve the quality of life for citizens who will gain increased access to essential services, economic opportunities, increased mobility, and a reduced cost of living. The NWT has enormous potential for non-renewable resource development to increase economic growth for the territory and Canada. The vast mineral potential alone is consistently ranked by mining companies surveyed by the Fraser Institute as one of the highest in North America, yet the NWT continues to have insufficient infrastructure required to access its full potential. Development projects and communities would benefit from an improved transportation network.
The Department is challenged by the need to upgrade substandard transportation infrastructure and to rehabilitate and replace aging infrastructure with limited resources.Much of the infrastructure in the NWT was built to the standards of the day and now requires extensive investments to maintain operability and reliability. Major culverts, bridge structures, and maintenance buildings are reaching the end of their lifecycles and must be rehabilitated or replaced. Investments are also required to replace chipsealed sections of the highway that have reached the end of their service lives (typically 5 to 7 years). Modernizing practices through innovation will assist the Department to optimize resources and address the aging transportation system. Investments in technology will increase efficiency, improve productivity, system performance, and reliability.
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