Development and the overall well-being of the communities of the Mackenzie Valley rely on seasonal access by air, winter road, and barge from other population centers in the south. In the face of a climatic warming, a reliable all-weather highway system is the key to developing resources and providing improved access to education, health care, and employment opportunities for Canada’s most vulnerable people.

In 2010 the Department of Transportation, Government of the Northwest Territories, renewed its focus on the vision of an all-weather highway through the Mackenzie River Valley as a strategic priority. At that time, the Department of Transportation partnered with the aboriginal land claimant groups to deliver the necessary preliminary design, environmental scoping, and project description reports for the 800 kilometers (km) of future all-weather highway from Wrigley to Inuvik.

Tetra Tech has been working with the aboriginal organizations in developing the future highway. From 2010 to 2012, Tetra Tech worked directly for the Tulita District Investment Corporation and completed the preliminary design and preparation of regulatory submission for 285 km of the future highway through the Tulita District, Sahtu Settlement Area.

Beginning in 2010 and continuing today, Tetra Tech is providing services to the Gwich’in Tribal Council for development of the 181 km of highway that will go through the Gwich’in Settlement Area. Tetra Tech is working through our aboriginal joint venture company, Nehtruh-EBA Consulting Ltd.

The Mackenzie Valley Highway will cross areas of permafrost, environmentally sensitive areas, and traditional lands owned and managed by aboriginal land claimant groups. Tetra Tech has adapted typical engineering, design, and construction approaches to meet the unique needs of the area.

Tetra Tech provided the following services:

  • Route development, preliminary and detailed design
  • Construction quantity and cost estimates
  • Environmental, archaeological, and engineering field reconnaissance
  • Community and regulatory consultation
  • Environmental and cumulative effects assessment
  • Benefit evaluation
  • Project description report preparation
  • LiDAR and orthophotographic imagery data collection
  • Hydrotechnical and hydrological studies