City of Iqaluit applies for $7M to upgrade Akilliq Drive

Total project cost is estimated at around $9.7M, says chief administrative officer

The City of Iqaluit has applied for federal money to upgrade and pave Akilliq Drive, shown here. (Photo by David Venn)

By David Venn
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The city has applied for a $7.3 million federal grant to upgrade and pave Akilliq Drive, the road by the Causeway Bay boat launch and future deep sea port.

The project in total will cost $9.7 million, with the city and Government of Nunavut paying about $2.4 million, said Iqaluit chief administrative officer Amy Elgersma during Tuesday’s city council meeting.

The upgrades are necessary because the road’s width doesn’t meet city standards, it doesn’t have proper drainage and it cannot handle boaters and sealift operations.

“Once the new port opens and without the upgrades, we’re concerned an increase in port traffic will mean offloading will be slow and congested,” she said. “We expect conflicts with port traffic and local boating traffic.”

City spokesperson Aleksey Cameron did not reply to Nunatsiaq News’ questions about when the city sent in its application, or when it’s expecting to hear back.

The federal government has set aside $4.6 billion for Transport Canada’s National Corridors Fund.

It’s available for projects that “increase the flow of trade in and out of Canada” by improving airports, railways, access roads and ports, according to a Government of Canada website.

At the meeting, Elgersma said Akilliq Drive connects Iqaluit to southern Canada and is integral to the city’s supply chain, specifically for construction material.

Elgersma said she expects the tender for the project to go out in January 2023 and construction to start that summer, if the funding application is approved.

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(18) Comments:

  1. Posted by Plateau? on

    Good grief, how about paving the plateau for goodness sakes. The City has created a huge problem on the plateau with poor planning and the road becomes a nightmare hours after its graded. I get that sealift and boats are important, but the plateau residents pay the highest property tax in Iqaluit for non existent services and to be shrouded in a layer of dust which is exacerbated but the tremendous volume of traffic.

    • Posted by Iqalummit on

      People that live in the plateau are rich enough, there are more important things over rich plateau people.

    • Posted by Maq-Pat on

      Everyone benefits from improving sealift infrastructure, Everyone benefits from improving roads downtown and main arterial roads. Paving satellite neighborhoods only benefits the handful of people in those neighborhoods. The way I see it, plateau has two options:
      (1) The honest route: gain support for a local assessment where property owners in that area pay a portion of the paving cost.
      (2) The Apex model: stuff positions of power with people from your small neighborhood and hope no one is paying attention when you serve yourselves first.

  2. Posted by Colin on

    I could never understand why it cost so much just to do some paving! With the city having so many workers, road crew, why can’t they buy the equipment needed and part of their job during the week pave sections of roads during the summer?
    It’s not rocket science, each summer pave roads and go back to the older sections to redo to old paving.
    Why does a very small section have to cost millions to pave?

    • Posted by ArcticSense on

      Perhaps even a cheaper option like chipseal. It will keep the dust down but should be cheaper than asphalt. It isn’t like we need amazing roads so we can go 60 on them.

      • Posted by Arctic expertise on

        This chipseal was tried about 15 years ago here in Iqaluit, it did not last one year and it made the roads even more hazardous.
        Asphalt is the way to go and I like the idea of having the municipality trained and paving each summer as part of their job. Seems so much cheaper that way instead of hiring from the south and a contract.

    • Posted by Maq-Pat on

      We’re talking about rebuilding, from practically the ground up, a road carved through a small wetland in the 50’s. Roughly $6M per KM is pretty much what you’re looking at for new roads in the south. Doesn’t seem overly weird for a ground up rebuild in the north. I’d be interested to hear what that fancy (though unpaved) road north to the yet-unapproved dump is costing the city per KM.

  3. Posted by wondering on

    I have to honestly say sure would be nice to see the road to the dump paved. However still a waste of money regardless where the funding comes from.

  4. Posted by Maq-Pat on

    Like everything paving is less expensive when you do lots at the same time, mobilizing is a huge part of the expense. With the one exception of the most recent runway resurfacing, the city has always had its planning and finances coordinated enough to do significant paving throughout the city when a major paving project (previously runway resurfacing) has been happening in town. YES please get federal funding for nationally important trade routes, but PLEASE also be prepared to benefit from the saving available for other local-scale projects.

  5. Posted by Name Withheld on

    I personally think that they should first grade the road before they add more gravel to it…

    Look after fixing rest of the existing roads, upgrade them before requesting more money..

    Feds don’t bother giving them anymore. You can use that money on something else that can benefit all

    • Posted by SandyDustyMendy on

      you know what i hate the most ? the type of anti slippery material the city use on its road, they once use very fine pure crush rocks, but not anymore,they use sand and dirt,yes thats right, the city pour poop over the street in winter and when summer arrive all street are full of dirt sand wich we bread and goes into our house and no mater how many time you wash your car as soon as some one drives by the dirst and sand fly up in the air and yes,it land on your wash car, i once joke that the city pave the road then they try to cover the road back with dirt and sand they once try to cover with new asphalt

      • Posted by Name Withheld on

        Your comment had me laughing, Are you seriously complaining about what they use? or how dirty your vehicle gets?

        You need to see other communities within Nunavut and you will stop your complaining… LOL

      • Posted by gravel on

        what should they use then? there’s not much options other then gravel. before you say salt, that doesn’t work up here, it gets too cold during the winter time. maybe if you don’t like your vehicle dusty, i recommend selling it and start taking taxi. this way the dust on your vehicle will not bother you.

  6. Posted by Hans on

    Here in Nuuk our municipality does the paving and repaving, same in most of the towns here in Greenland, the municipalities do their own paving, sidewalks.
    If you have ever visited here and see our roads it’s thanks to our municipal workers who are mainly Inuit.
    Maybe a exchange with our sister town to learn how it’s done and how we can help teach your workers to pave in the Arctic would be of help?

    • Posted by Ms. Information on

      What is this “side-walks” of which you speak?

      • Posted by regular side walk on

        they have regular concrete sidewalks. what kind of sidewalks were you thinking of?

  7. Posted by Contrast on

    A lot more than paving and sidewalks could serve as an inspiration from Greenland.
    How about how not to accumulate all the garbage (vehicles, ATV’s, snowmobiles, etc.) next to every dwelling? Communities with a tremendous potential thanks to the breathtaking landscape, such as Pangnirtung, are such an eyesore…


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