‘The opportunities are endless’: Tłı̨chǫ Highway opens, marking a new chapter for Whatì, N.W.T. – by John Van Dusen (CBC News North – November 30, 2021)


A fly-in community for most of the year now has all-season road access

The Chief of Whatì, N.W.T., will soon do something he’s never been able to do until today — get in a car and drive to Yellowknife on a road that’s open year-round. “As soon as they remove that barricade, I’ll be on the Whatì highway,” said Alfonz Nitsiza.

As of 10 a.m. Tuesday, that barricade came down, and the largely fly-in community located about 164 kilometres northwest of Yellowknife is a fly-in community no more. A 97-kilometre, two-lane gravel all-season highway is officially open to the public.

The $185-million road known as the Tłı̨chǫ Highway connects to Highway 3 and onto the national highway system, year-round. Previously, Whatì was only accessible by a winter road, which typically opens late January and closes mid-April.

Another $226.8 million will cover the cost to operate and maintain the new road until 2047, a contract held by North Star Infrastructure, which also built the highway. The road will also connect the Tłı̨chǫ communities of Gamètì and Wekweètì to the south via their winter roads, which will now be able to open earlier and stay open longer.

For the rest of this article: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/tlicho-highway-opens-whati-all-season-road-1.6267723