NEWS: Iqaluit May 15, 2018 - 7:59 am

Iqaluit pushes the start button on upgrade to Federal Road

Contractor to start preparing dilapidated road next week, repaving to start in July


It may be pothole season in Nunavut, but Iqaluit residents can look forward to at least one newly-paved stretch of road by the end of the summer.

The City of Iqaluit announced that a long-awaited upgrade to Federal Road will get started next week. This will see a stretch of the airport road paved from Qaqqamiut Road to Ikaluktuutiak Drive.

The city will use money from the federal government’s gas tax fund to help foot most of the bill for the $2.5 million upgrade, which will be done by Kudlik Construction Ltd.

City councillors voted to approve the project last September. The original winning bid came in at around $3.8 million, exceeding the amount of money the city expected to get through the gas tax fund.

Councillors approved the road upgrade after they whittled the price down to $2.5 million.

Federal Road has been deteriorating for years, but after 2013, when the Government of Nunavut announced plans to build a new airport terminal in Iqaluit at a location accessible only by that road, its dilapidated state became a serious issue.

Constant use and poor drainage have worn away large swaths of asphalt from Federal Road and it suffers from multiple potholes and other structural failures. Parts of it are indistinguishable from the surrounding ditches.

At the same time, it’s the first part of Iqaluit that new visitors get to see.

“Paving this area of Federal Road will improve drivability, reduce annual maintenance costs, as well as help enhance a positive image of the city, especially for visitors arriving from our international airport,” Iqaluit Mayor Madeleine Redfern said in a May 14 release.

Starting May 21, crews remove old pavement from the section of road that will be upgraded, with paving set to begin during the second week of July.

The city will temporarily convert the affected roadway to one lane for the duration of the construction period.

The Government of Nunavut oversaw the design work for the project, the city said.