Email this article Discuss this article

Kuugaarruk road finally finished

DND expected to pay $400,000 in spite of delays

Kevin Wilson
Northern News Services

Pelly Bay (Oct 15/01) - Quinn Taggart can finally take a load off.

The two bridges and 24 kilometres of road that had become the personal albatross of Kuugaarruk's senior administrator is finally complete.

The new road was officially declared finished last Sunday.

After cutting a cake the day before to celebrate the new thoroughfare, deputy mayor Remi Krikort said he is "very happy" the road was done.

The new road gives contractors access to the nearby DEW Line site. Cleanup of the abandoned military post was supposed to begin in late August, but the road and bridge project were hampered by repeated delays.

The Department of National Defence, which is paying for the cleanup, offered to pony up $400,000 for the road and bridges, provided that contractors were able to use them within a week of the first sealift.

However, Krikort said he expects the military will pay in spite of the delay. "As far as I know, DND is going to pay," said Krikort.

While the chief benefit of the new road will be access to the DEW Line site, Kuugaarruk residents will also benefit as hunting and fishing sites become more accessible.

Krikort said the community will also have better access to gravel and pointed out the road will open up nearby Barrow Lake.

"There's a real potential for tourism development there," he said.

The Nunavut Impact Review Board held up work on the project twice at the request of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, which was concerned one of the bridges would harm fish habitat.

After two complete bridge redesigns, roadwork was then hampered by heavy sea ice and a fuel shortage.

Krikort said he's looking forward to having Taggart freed up. "It'll be nice having him free to focus on the community," he said.