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December 17, 2012

Deh Cho all-weather bridge construction complete

MICHAEL OWEN

The all-weather Deh Cho Bridge is expected to have a design life of 75 years and is the largest public infrastructure project ever in the N.W.T.

FORT PROVIDENCE, N.W.T.

The Deh Cho Bridge, which spans Canada's largest river, officially opened on Nov. 30.

Spanning the kilometre-wide Mackenzie River at Fort Providence, N.W.T., the all-weather bridge replaces the operations of the Merv Hardie ferry and the Mackenzie River Ice Crossing bridge.

The Deh Cho Bridge is expected to have a design life of 75 years.

It is the largest public infrastructure project ever undertaken in the Northwest Territories.

Premier Bob McLeod and Transportation Minister David Ramsay, together with community leaders and elders, cut the ceremonial ribbon to officially open the bridge.

“This was an important achievement that will benefit the people of the Northwest Territories for generations to come,” said McLeod.

Ramsay credited the decision of the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories to provide additional resources for the bridge with ensuring completion this year.

The money was used to settle claims and accelerate construction, bringing the total construction cost for the bridge to $202 million.

He was pleased that the bridge is open for the peak winter travel period.

“Those travellers wanting to cross the river to meet family and friends this holiday season now have certainty for their holiday plans. Operators of commercial vehicles will also benefit from this certainty as they make deliveries to the North Slave region,” he said at the opening ceremony.

Major construction began in the spring of 2008.

A temporary bridge was built on each side of the river to facilitate the construction of the eight concrete pillars that would run the width of the Mackenzie River.

By April 2009, the four southern piers were installed, with the four northern piers completed in spring 2010.

Ruskin Construction Ltd. was the prime contractor.

Ruskin’s project team included: Buckland & Taylor Ltd. (erection engineer); AllNorth Consultants (quality control); Rapid Span/Structal J.V. (fabricators); Bridon International (cable lock systems); and Stan Dean & Sons Ltd. (earthworks and site preparation).

Infinity Engineering Group was the design engineer and Associated Engineering provided project management.

Levelton Consultants Ltd.; Sargent & Associates; and EBA (a Tetra Tech Company) provided quality assurance. Territorial advisors were BPTEC-DNW Engineering Ltd. and T.Y. Lin International.

Deh Gah Got’ie First Nation, Fort Providence Métis Council, and Hamlet of Fort Providence were community partners. Commercial vehicle operators will pay a toll.

JOC NEWS SERVICES

MICHAEL OWEN

Workers grout the bridge rail bases in early November during the final construction phase of the bridge. Ruskin Construction Ltd. was the prime contractor on the project.

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