The GNWT is partnering with Gahcho Kué Mine to build a bridge at the Redknife River crossing on the Mackenzie Highway that will restore fish passage for migratory species.
In this unique and mutually beneficial partnership, Gahcho Kué will contribute $9.5 million, with the GNWT pledging the balance of costs. For Gahcho Kué, the project is compensation for disturbance to fish habitat in Kennady Lake by construction of the mine. For the GNWT, the project is part of a larger initiative to improve stream and river highway crossings throughout the NWT’s highway system.
Highway 1 crosses the Redknife River approximately 181 kilometres southeast of Fort Simpson, and approximately 30 kilometres southeast of Sambaa Deh Territorial Park.
Currently, there are three structurally sound culverts installed underneath the highway that present a barrier obstructing migratory fish from being able to effectively access areas upstream on a seasonal basis. Contributing factors causing this disruption include erosion to the downstream side of the riverbed, along with fluctuations in water levels that are expected to continue as climate change causes more extreme weather events.
Planning for the project began in 2021, and construction is expected to get underway in the third quarter of 2023 and will take about three years to complete.