Iqaluit deepsea port project remains on schedule for 2021 completion

“Things are looking good to make that date”

Iqaluit’s future deepsea port, seen here on Sept. 2, is on track to be completed by the end of next construction season. (Photo by Elisapee Nowdluk)

By Dustin Patar

(Updated on Oct. 14, 12:30 p.m.)

Despite pandemic restrictions, the construction of Iqaluit’s deepsea port and small-craft harbour remains on schedule.

The project, awarded to Tower Arctic in 2018, is still expected to be completed in 2021 and operational by the 2022 shipping season.

“I think that things are looking good to make that date,” said Justin McDonell, a project manager with the Government of Nunavut’s capital projects division.

According to McDonell the project is also still on budget.

“It took a little while to get all the details totally smoothed out for this project to move forward, but overall, we did not see as bad of a delay as other projects,” he said, referring to the impact of the pandemic.

In May, prior to the construction season, Iqaluit city councillors expressed their support for last summer’s big capital projects to go ahead amid the pandemic.

Work on the port began in early June and focused on the construction of the wharf.

Of the four sheet pile cells, which will create the berth that ships will dock against, two are complete, with a third expected to be finished before the end of this construction season.

The construction of an arch that connects those cells also began this season.

This year’s work at the causeway focused on the creation of a snowmobile access point for the spring, something McDonell says was requested by the Amarok Hunters and Trappers Association.

“It’s a bit of a trial at this point, but it’s installed right now and we’re going to monitor it over the spring to see how it performs,” he said.

Across the water, the small-craft harbour received its final driving surface, and moorings were installed along the breakwater.

With the construction season coming to a close sometime over the next month and a half, McDonell hopes to have an end of season community update.

In the meantime, those with questions or comments can contact Tower Arctic through its website or by email.


An earlier version of this story said that only one sheet pile cell was complete, with a second expected to be finished before the end of the construction season, when in fact it two are complete with a third scheduled for completion. An earlier version also stated that the impacts of the pandemic have been minimal, when in fact they were less than other projects but not minimal. We regret the mistake.

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(4) Comments:

  1. Posted by Iqaluit Boater on

    I hope they re think the boat launch at the causeway before they complete the project. It doesn’t take very long for it to deteriorate.

  2. Posted by On schedule ??? on

    This is an extract from an article published in the Nunatsiaq News on June 28, 2018 ( ) :

    “After 20 years of asking and waiting, Iqaluit residents are finally getting their new small-craft harbour and deep-sea port. The project’s schedule, announced at an information session on Thursday, June 14, will begin mid-July. The small-craft harbour should be completed by the end of November this year. The deep-sea port should be completed by the end of November 2019.”

    …just wondering how come they can say the project remains on schedule as it’s already 1 year late according to this article ?

    • Posted by Observer on

      Because that article was wrong. If you look at what they submitted for approvals for the port in 2017, they had construction from 2018 to 2020 with the port in operation in 2021. They’ll probably end up being a year late, since they’re talking 2022, but right now they aren’t. The small craft harbor took an extra year: that one was supposed to end by November 2019.

  3. Posted by As Always on

    They can say anything they want.
    It’s just the doing that they are having a little difficulty with.

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