New Road ‘ITH’ to open in 2018
After four years or work, the final 3.5 km of the Inuvik to Tuktoyatuk Highway (ITH) , along with two bridges, eight culverst , final grading and traffic sign installation is due to be completed by the Autumn of 2017. In addition to moving goods and people this new road from Inuvik to Tuktoyatuk (TUK) will serve as a key link in connecting Northern Communities. IN total the project cost the territorial government $99M whilst the Canadian goverment is contributing $200M. Thats $299M for a 137km gravel road. Once completed it will provide year around overland access to Tuk and the Beaufort Sea.
Several research and development activities have already been initiated to monitor road performance over sensitive terrain , test construction innovation and contribute to baseline research and monitoring activities. A permafrost monitoring network has been established consisting of over 70 ground temperature monitoring locations, including pilings at 8 bridge structures.
Two celebrations will be held in November 2017; one in Inuvik and one in Tuktoyaktuk. This is a momentus time for the Beaufort Delta after decades of effort to bring a highway to the Arctic Ocean. An official opening of the all season highway is planned for November 15, 2017. The grand opening however will take place in Summer 2018.