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Dehcho
Environment

Gahcho Kué and GNWT to partner on Highway 1 bridge


Gahcho Kué is partnering with the NWT government on a project that aims to restore a passageway for migratory fish in the Dehcho. 

According to a news release, the diamond mine and territorial government are teaming up to build a bridge where the Redknife River crosses the Mackenzie Highway.

The crossing on Highway 1 is about 30 kilometres southeast of Sambaa Deh Falls Territorial Park.

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Gahcho Kué is contributing $9.5 million to the project while the NWT government will make up any remaining costs. The territory said $9.5 million represents the anticipated market cost of the project, but the full cost of the bridge’s design, permitting, construction and any post-construction work has yet to be determined.

Redknife River bridge
A satellite image shows the existing Redknife River bridge, left, and the river’s subsequent path to the Mackenzie River at top right. Logan Earth/ESRI World Imagery

Like other mines in the territory, Gahcho Kué is required to perform compensation work for disturbance to fish habitat.  

“We have a responsibility to make a positive impact on nature and to protect it for future generations,” the mine’s general manager, Lyndon Clark, said in a statement.

“We are pleased to partner on this project that will help bring fish back to upstream portions of the Redknife River and develop new infrastructure that will benefit NWT residents for years to come.”

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The project is part of a larger initiative to improve stream and river crossings throughout the territory’s highway system.

The territorial government said there are currently three culverts underneath Highway 1 that prevent fish from accessing upstream areas.

Construction on the bridge is expected to begin in 2023 and take around three years to complete.

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