PUBLIC MEETING – NWT Transportation Strategy

NWT Transportation Strategy 2015 – 2040
Thursday, April 23, 2015
7 pm
Nahanni Inn Meeting Room

NWT Transportation Strategy 2015 to 2040The introduction of the Northwest Territories Transportation Strategy, Public and Stakeholder Engagement Report, 2015-2040 gives this background to the project:

“The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) Department of Transportation (DOT) is updating the Northwest Territories (NWT) Transportation Strategy, to help guide the planning and implementation of transportation improvements across the NWT over the next 25 years. 

To inform the update of the NWT Transportation Strategy 2015-2040, DOT engaged political leaders, key transportation stakeholders, and the public to capture their transportation perspectives and to ensure that the updated strategy comprehensively reflects the priorities and aspirations of the various users of our transportation system. It was also important to communicate what DOT and its partners have accomplished over the past 25 years and to define current transportation challenges and opportunities.” 

In reading over this 29 page document, it is clear that the GNWT is committed to increased spending to further develop our infrastructure, as well as to improve maintenance of existing infrastructure.

SIX MAJOR PRIORITIES IDENTIFIED – (pg 4) and are quoted here:

“Six priority major projects were identified for completion:

  • extend the all-weather Mackenzie Valley Highway from Wrigley to Norman Wells to support communities, tourism, and oil & gas development;
  • construct an all-weather road into the Slave Geological Province to support sustainable mineral development;
  • construct an all-weather road from Highway 3 to Whati to improve access to Tlich0 communities and support the development of Fortune Minerals’ proposed NICO Mine;
  • improve the condition of Highway 7 to support tourism and the development of Canadian Zinc’s proposed Prairie Creek Mine project;
  • encourage Canada to dredge Hay River Harbour to improve marine safety; and
  • develop a deep water port facility at or near Tuktoyaktuk

There was no consensus on the order of priority for development of the above six projects except for almost unanimous agreement that the extension of the Mackenzie Valley Highway from Wrigley to at least Norman Wells should be high on the priority list.”

There are many other interesting proposals, including increasing the GNWT borrowing limit to $1 billion and proposals on how to balance new construction costs with on-going maintenance costs of increasing our infrastructure.

Tourism potential, industrial waste treatment capacity, more emergency shelters along winter roads, alternative vehicles (electric, lighter-than-air vehicles), 3000 ft minimum air-strips, transition to double-hulled barges, and hydro development to reduce the need to truck or barge fuel were all cited.  The recommendation to replace BIP with a ‘northern benefits policy’ or a ‘hire north policy’ was explained.

“Fort Simpson was also mentioned as a possible site for a Mackenzie River port, Coast Guard center, and marine school for training ferry and tug boat captains and crew.”  – pg 6

I highly recommend looking over this report.  It is easy to read, and is fast paced with lots of great ideas and ways in which to implement those ideas.  The link to download this .pdf report is at the top of this article.





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Angela About Angela

Hi, I am Angela Fiebelkorn, President of the Fort Simpson Chamber. You can contact us at fscofc@gmail(dot)com or call 867-695-6538.