Government of Canada and Northwest Territories invest $50 million in Dehk’è Frank Channel Bridge replacement

News release

August 13, 2021     Behchokǫ̀, Northwest Territories     Transport Canada

The Government of Canada continues to invest in infrastructure projects that create quality, middle-class jobs and boost economic growth in Canada’s North.

Today, the Member of Parliament for Northwest Territories, Michael McLeod, on behalf of the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, and the Honourable Diane Archie, Territorial Minister of Infrastructure, announced a major investment for the construction of a new bridge to replace the Dehk’è Frank Channel Bridge, which has reached the end of its life. The Government of Canada is investing $37.5 million in this project under the National Trade Corridors Fund, and the Government of Northwest Territories is providing $12.5 million, for a total investment of $50 million for the new Frank Channel Bridge.

The bridge is a critical component of Highway 3, 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 larger (wider and taller) commodities, making the region more accessible.

This investment is expected to have important economic, environmental, and employment benefits for the region.
National Trade Corridors Fund projects in the Arctic and North support northern transportation infrastructure such as ports, airports, all-season roads, and bridges. These projects enhance the safety, security, economic, and social development in Canada's three territories, the northern area of Labrador containing the Nunatsiavut region, the Nunavik region in Quebec, and the Town and Port of Churchill in Manitoba.

These National Trade Corridors Fund projects also address the unique and urgent transportation needs in Canada's Arctic and North, such as climate resilience and access to markets, creating social and economic opportunities, access between communities and to essential services despite difficult terrain and severe climate conditions, and the high cost of construction along Canada’s northern trade corridors.

Provincial, territorial, and municipal governments, Indigenous groups, not-for-profit and for-profit private-sector organizations, federal Crown corporations, and academia are all eligible for funding under the National Trade Corridors Fund.

Quotes

“Transportation and distribution of goods are essential for our northern communities and for social and economic development in Canada’s Arctic. By investing in much needed transportation infrastructure in the North, such as all-season roads and bridges, we are improving transportation safety and reliability for Northerners.”

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport

“The construction of this new bridge demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to supporting transportation infrastructure in the North. This project will ensure the safe and reliable transportation of goods and provide community members with more flexible access to important resources.”

Michael McLeod
Member of Parliament for Northwest Territories

“The Dehk’è Frank Channel Bridge is a key piece of infrastructure of the Northwest Territories’ highway system. Today’s announcement demonstrates the Government of the Northwest Territories’ commitment to make strategic infrastructure investments and support improved quality of life for NWT residents. Replacing the Dehk’è Frank Channel Bridge will help to meet the needs of our citizens for decades to come.”

The Honourable Diane Archie
Minister of Infrastructure for Northwest Territories

Quick facts

  • As announced in 2017, the National Trade Corridors Fund is investing $2.3 billion over 11 years in projects that strengthen the efficiency and resilience of the transportation system, and includes $800 million in dedicated funding for Arctic and northern regions.

  • Budget 2021 provided an additional $1.9 billion over four years (2021-22 to 2024-25) to the National Trade Corridors Fund, which will spur investments into much-needed enhancements to Canada’s roads, rail, and shipping routes, build long-term resilience for the Canadian economy, and support  domestic trade.

  • Of the new National Trade Corridors Fund funding, 15 per cent will be dedicated to building and improving transportation networks in Canada’s Arctic and North.

  • Transportation is a lifeline for northern communities and their social and economic development, where infrastructure is more costly to build as compared to southern Canada due to severe climate, difficult terrain, vast distances, limited access to materials and expertise, and a much shorter construction season.

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Contacts

Allison St-Jean
Senior Communications Advisor and Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport, Ottawa
613-290-8656
Allison.St-Jean@tc.gc.ca

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa
613-993-0055
media@tc.gc.ca

Department of Infrastructure
Government of the Northwest Territories
867-767-9082 ext. 31041
INF_Communications@gov.nt.ca
Twitter: @GNWT_INF

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