Construction teams on both sides of the Inuvik Tuktoyaktuk Highway have met in the middle, meaning an all-weather road now connects the two communities.
The two sides met last Thursday, as crews poured the last bit of gravel to fill the gap.
There’s still much more work to be done before the road opens to the public in the fall of 2017, but this marks another milestone for the 120-kilometre highway.
Construction of the highway began in January 2014. Once completed, Canada will officially be connected from coast to coast to coast.
“Our contractor has successfully met the target of joining the north and south construction spreads this season,” said territorial transportation minister Wally Schumann in a statement.
“The project remains on schedule for completion in the fall of 2017 and continues to be managed within the $299 million budget.”
The Government of the Northwest Territories is contributing $99 million to the project while the federal government will provide the remaining $200 million.
The next step is to finish building embankments and bridges and complete surfacing of the road.
Currently, Tuktoyaktuk is only accessible by ice road, barge and air.
Government officials are hopeful the highway will lower the cost of living in Tuktoyaktuk and create more opportunities for business development.