Construction on Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk highway behind schedule

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Yellowknife, NWT – The GNWT’s Department of Transportation says there is no reason for concern, but admits construction on the Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk highway is behind schedule.

Senior program manager Larry Purcka with the DOT says construction on the Inuvik side of highway wrapped up at the end of March but colder temperatures near Tuktoyaktuk have allowed crews to continue working.

Purcka says between the two work crews, 29 kilometres of road were built, 11 short of their target for the season.

“The contractor has put together a pretty ambitious plan to get the work done over a three year period. To do that, his plan was to do 20 kilometres a year from each end and then meet in the middle. Our target is the end of October in 2017.”

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Purcka says much of the work will be done during winter months because of ground conditions.

“The area that the road is being constructed over is ice-rich permafrost meaning there’s a high moisture content. The intent is that we protect that permafrost as much as possible.”

Purcka says despite not reaching their target, the construction season was successful in that it provided nearly 400 northerners with jobs.

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