A safe, secure and efficient transportation system is crucial to the viability and socio-economic welfare of northern communities and contributes to economic opportunities in the North of Canada.
The Honourable Marc Garneau; Canada’s Minister of Transport, along with Wally Schumann; the Northwest Territories’ Transportation Minister, and Michael McLeod; Member of Parliament for the Northwest Territories, has announced the launch of the second phase of the Northwest Territories (NWT) Transportation Monitoring Program and the extension of research activities along established test sites.
This project will study the effects of climate change on permafrost and transportation infrastructure. Its results will ensure that future transportation projects undertaken by the NWT Government take into account the potential impacts of climate change in their budget, design, construction, and maintenance phases.
The Government of Canada is providing $560,700 over the next two years from the Northern Transportation Adaptation Initiative (NTAI) for this second phase of the NWT Transportation Monitoring Program. The Government of NWT is providing the remaining amount, for a total project cost of $747,600.
“We are committed to the development of Canada’s northern transportation system and I am pleased to contribute to this research project in the North,” said the Honourable Marc Garneau, Canada’s Minister of Transport. “Climate change has an important impact on northern roads and airport runways built on permafrost, and on the safety of Arctic marine vessels and operations. The Northern Transportation Adaptation Initiative facilitates better and more integrated transportation planning and adaptation measures, which ultimately helps Canadians understand the effects of climate change in the North.”
Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament for the Northwest Territories, said: “As the North warms and permafrost thaws, the effects of climate change are becoming more and more visible on highways in the Northwest Territories. These initiatives are important steps in understanding how we can best maintain our roadways in these warming conditions, both over continuous permafrost, and discontinuous or sporadic permafrost, and will help us mitigate the impacts of a warming climate on Northern transportation routes moving forward.”