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Feds, territory announce $96M to upgrade N.W.T. highways, roads and ditches

The federal and Northwest Territories governments announced they will spend about $96 million to fix up community roads, fill in ditches, and build a new community youth centre, among other projects across the territory.

A cold storage garage for Sambaa K'e and a new youth centre for Colville Lake are also on the project list

Member of Parliament for N.W.T., Michael McLeod, in Behchoko, N.W.T., for a joint federal, territorial funding announcement Thursday. (Gabriela Panza-Beltrandi/CBC)

The federal and Northwest Territories governments announced they will spend about $96 million to fix up community roads, fill in ditches and to build a new community youth centre, among other projects across the territory.

The federal government promised the majority of the funds — up to $72.12 million — while the territorial government will provide up to $23.87 million for the Small Communities Fund. Local communities will contribute the remainder of $354,700.

The majority of the money will go towards fixing up community access roads and winter roads across the territory; Highways 1, 3,  and 7 will also get facelifts. The Ingraham Trail near Yellowknife, and the Dempster Highway from Tsiigehtchic to Inuvik will also be upgraded, according to a government project list.

Other projects include:

  • Upgrades to roads, ditches and culverts in the Nahanni Butte region
  • A cold storage garage for Sambaa K'e
  • A new 1,500 square foot youth centre in Colville Lake
  • A new sewage vacuum truck for Wrigley

Territorial ministers Caroline Cochrane and Wally Schumann were joined by MP for N.W.T. Michael McLeod in Behchoko, N.W.T., Thursday for the announcement.

The new money will help create jobs and improve Northerners' quality of life, said Federal Minister of Infrastructure Amarjeet Sohi, in a news release.

Schumann, minister for the territory's Department of Infrastructure, says the projects will "increase the resiliency of our transportation system to challenges related to age, increased traffic loads, and the impacts of climate change."

In the summer of 2016, the federal and territorial governments announced about $80.9 million for road repairs across the territory.

McLeod said Thursday that the $96 million is new money, and not related to the previous investment.

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