Author Topic: Northwest Territories outlook  (Read 2299 times)

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Offline oscar

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Northwest Territories outlook
« on: January 19, 2019, 07:37:22 pm »
Now that the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway (NT 10) has been completed, NT's Ministry of Infrastructure is shifting its focus to other new all-season roads. But nothing yet has happened that affects TM.

One project in the pipeline is a new 97-km all-season road from NT 3 to Whati. No route number has yet been assigned (that usually is among the last things done for new NT highways), but NT 9 is still unused if there is going to be a route number at all. Construction is currently scheduled to start in fall of this year, and end in fall 2021.

The more ambitious project, part of which has already opened but the rest will probably take much longer than the Whati road, is to extend as an all-season road the Mackenzie Highway (NT 1) from its current end in Wrigley, about 330 km to Norman Wells. The part that opened in November 2018 is a new 14-km all-season road from Norman Wells southeast to Canyon Creek. Next up probably will be 15 km of new all-season road (following the existing winter road) from Wrigley to Mt. Gaudet, as well as construction of a new bridge near Tulita. No timetables have been announced for the next phases.

The legal definitions of NT highways have not been amended to add the Norman Wells-Canyon Creek all-season road as a new highway (unlike NT 10, which was added as soon as it opened). My guess is that for now it is being treated as part of the unnumbered Mackenzie Highway (Wrigley-Fort Good Hope) Winter Road. In any case, no need to change anything in TM at this time.

UPDATE: The new road to Canyon Creek has been added to the legal definitions, but as an unnumbered route.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2019, 08:46:30 am by oscar »

Offline oscar

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Re: Northwest Territories outlook
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2020, 02:23:33 pm »
The new all-season road from NT 3 to Whati, under construction, is expected to open to traffic in autumn 2021, and has been assigned route number 9.

Offline oscar

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Re: Northwest Territories outlook
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2021, 11:38:56 am »
Target opening date for the new NT 9 is November 30.

This highway replaces a winter road to Whati. As with NT 10 (which turned into a quagmire in the spring thaw, and had to be extensively redone for reopening in the summer), that means pressure to open the new highway, even if not completely ready, so the winter road need not be rebuilt for this season.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2021, 07:25:01 pm by oscar »

Offline oscar

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Re: Northwest Territories outlook
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2021, 09:53:10 pm »
NT 9 officially opened to the general public earlier today. However, for Covid-19 reasons the ribbon-cutting and other festivities will happen some other time (though a small informal ceremony including local Tlicho chiefs was held near the south end of the new highway). This is unlike the 2017 opening of NT 10, where major festivities (including Canada's Governor General, representing the Queen) were held the same day the highway was opened, and Canada's new highway to the Arctic Ocean was a big deal nationwide.

OSM seems to have most but not all of the route mapped. I'll look for other mapping data options, including any detailed online official route maps. In the meantime, I'll poke around for any Canadian or local press coverage of the highway opening or related festivities. One article posted a photo of an NT 9 route marker.

The unwelcome mat remains out for leisure or other non-essential travel to NWT by non-residents, with narrow exceptions usually requiring permission from the territorial public health office. So it'll be awhile before I can get out there for a field check, or to re-clinch cannt.

UPDATE: https://github.com/TravelMapping/HighwayData/pull/5392
« Last Edit: December 15, 2021, 06:53:42 am by oscar »