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Construction season heralds YK’s annual attempt to have traffic

Yellowknife's downtown on a May morning in 2018
Yellowknife's downtown on a May morning in 2018. Ollie Williams/Cabin Radio

The City of Yellowknife will once again mount an ambitious bid to create traffic congestion this summer, with 16 construction projects taking place around the city.

Residents late for work or appointments are routinely unable to blame traffic delays, as there aren’t any. The last useful radio traffic report was broadcast in 1960, announcing the completion of Highway 3 to Alberta.

The City, acknowledging residents complaining about four-minute delays to their morning commute were just embarrassing themselves, has tried to help in recent years by ripping up significant stretches of the only remotely busy street in Yellowknife.

That policy will continue in the summer of 2018: Franklin Avenue will see summer-long roadworks from Norseman Drive to Old Airport Road, otherwise known as the stretch alongside the Northlands trailer park.



Work there will commence on May 27 and there will be lane reductions. On last year’s evidence, this may add a whole three minutes to any given journey. The maximum time to drive from anywhere to anywhere in Yellowknife thereby increases from eight to 11 minutes.

Other roads targeted for paving work this summer are Finlayson Drive, Calder Crescent, Lamoureux Road, Grace Lake Boulevard, Williams Avenue, and Hall Crescent. There will also be work in the Northlands trailer park and Engle business district.

More: City of Yellowknife 2018 construction plans in full

Water and sewer work will take place on both Franklin Avenue and Dagenais Drive. Traffic lights will be installed at the intersection of Franklin and 44 Street.

The City will also use the summer to work on improving the Twin Pine Hill trails, as well as facilities at the School Draw parking lot, the bike park, and the dump.

It will remain entirely implausible for anyone arriving late at a meeting to blame traffic.