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Author Topic: Construction begins on 97km year-round road from NWT 3 to Whati  (Read 2001 times)

Kniwt

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The CBC reports:
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/tlicho-all-season-road-construction-begins-1.5257674

Quote
The official groundbreaking on the Tlicho all-season road to Whatı̀ will take place on Saturday in the N.W.T. community.

Whatı̀ is about 170 kilometres northwest of Yellowknife, and is a fly-in community for most of the year except when it's accessible by winter road.

The 97-kilometre, two-lane gravel road will connect Highway 3 to the small Tłı̨chǫ community year-round.

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Chris

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Re: Construction begins on 97km year-round road from NWT 3 to Whati
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2019, 06:44:43 AM »

$ 411 million over 28 years, that sounds like a PPP contract. I think the maintenance cost over such a long period for such a gravel road is relatively high in relation to the initial construction cost.

Will this road get a route number?

Rothman

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Re: Construction begins on 97km year-round road from NWT 3 to Whati
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2019, 06:50:42 AM »

Size of a project does not determine if it is a PPP, but rather the contracting arrangement.
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Chris

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Re: Construction begins on 97km year-round road from NWT 3 to Whati
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2019, 07:19:46 AM »

I know, that's why I said 28 years. According to the article, the value is $ 411 million over a period of 28 years. That is typically a PPP with a maintenance component, as opposed to a typical design-build contract.

Alps

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Re: Construction begins on 97km year-round road from NWT 3 to Whati
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2019, 01:37:07 AM »

I know, that's why I said 28 years. According to the article, the value is $ 411 million over a period of 28 years. That is typically a PPP with a maintenance component, as opposed to a typical design-build contract.
Don't PPPs usually result in tolled infrastructure? I also don't think it's design-build, as the article only mentions construction. I think what we have here is a construct-and-maintain contract - 3 years to construct, 25 years to maintain. This may be due to permafrost/heaving issues, so that any early unforeseen issues with the road that always arise in this geographic range will be dealt with by the consortium.

sprjus4

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Re: Construction begins on 97km year-round road from NWT 3 to Whati
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2019, 02:06:08 AM »

Don't PPPs usually result in tolled infrastructure?
Not always. At least here in Virginia, major freeways such as Route 28 between I-66 and VA-7, Route 288 between I-64 and Powhite Pkwy, Route 199 around Williamsburg, and other smaller projects were all built with PPPs and are not tolled.
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Chris

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Re: Construction begins on 97km year-round road from NWT 3 to Whati
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2019, 06:51:47 AM »

A lot of PPPs in Europe use 'availability payments' (AP), which means no tolls for motorists but the government pays the construction cost out in monthly installments, typically over 20 or 30 years. The exact payment depends on the availability of the infrastructure, this incentivizes quick construction, but not at the expense of quality, since the company must also maintain it over 20-30 years and hand it over in good condition at the end of the concession.

As far as I know the AP PPPs are not very common in North America. The advantage is that the government doesn't have to pay the entire cost of construction upfront. These availability payment concessions usually run 20-30 years including maintenance. It's kind of like a mortgage payment.

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Re: Construction begins on 97km year-round road from NWT 3 to Whati
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2019, 12:43:17 PM »

That's another form, which has largely fallen out of favor in Europe. It was used a lot during the 1990s, at that time policymakers thought that traffic volumes wouldn't increase much due to investment in public transport. This didn't pan out, so there was a lot more traffic and the government had to pay a lot more in shadow tolls. There is also a flip side, if traffic volumes were lower than anticipated, the contractor received insufficient money to pay off the debt and maintenance cost, either demanding more money or going bankrupt. Shadow tolls were used extensively in Portugal, Spain and the UK, and to a lesser degree in the Netherlands and Germany.

The all-weather road to Whati is a DBFOM contract: design, build, finance, operate and maintain.

The road contract is worth $411.8 million over 28 years. According to the press release from the territorial government, construction is expected to begin this fall, and will take between two and three years to complete. Payable upon "substantial completion" of the road is $110.4 million. The balance is payable over the next 25 years.

CBC: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/tlicho-all-season-construction-agreement-signed-1.5018703

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Re: Construction begins on 97km year-round road from NWT 3 to Whati
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2019, 09:42:02 PM »

Will this road get a route number?

I don't know. The existing winter road is unnumbered, just like all the other winter roads. When the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway was opened, it was assigned route number 10 (after initial planning to make it an extension of route 8), skipping over 9, so that number is available.

Route numbers aren't a big deal in NWT. My guess is that the route number (if any) for the Whati road will be one of the last things decided before the new highway opens.
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Re: Construction begins on 97km year-round road from NWT 3 to Whati
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2019, 09:49:03 PM »

it was assigned route number 10, skipping over 9

Is this a new trend? Windows 10, iPhone X, ...
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Re: Construction begins on 97km year-round road from NWT 3 to Whati
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2019, 09:35:11 PM »

I don't know about the others, but in the case of Windows 10, it's because Microsoft switched to doing more minor upgrades every so often rather than having a big release every couple years and didn't want to end on 9.

Regarding NT 10, IMO it should have been an extension of NT 8.  Such would have made for a much more logical route system.
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oscar

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Re: Construction begins on 97km year-round road from NWT 3 to Whati
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2019, 10:19:51 PM »

Regarding NT 10, IMO it should have been an extension of NT 8.  Such would have made for a much more logical route system.

Funny thing is, though, there's a gap of about 5 km between the north end of NT 8 and the south end of NT 10. That left the part of Navy Road connecting the two routes under Inuvik town control. I don't know why it was done that way. It might not be a coincidence that NT 10 starts right around the boundary between the settlement areas of the Gwich'in and Inuvialuit First Nations. NT 10 also starts where it peels away from the existing Inuvik road network, so it's all brand-new road (though part of Inuvik's Navy Road, which looked like a quagmire on my first visit in 2012, had to be upgraded for the project).
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Re: Construction begins on 97km year-round road from NWT 3 to Whati
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2019, 01:57:39 PM »

Regarding NT 10, IMO it should have been an extension of NT 8.  Such would have made for a much more logical route system.

I think the other key thing is here is that in the north of 60 regions of the continent people don't... use route numbers. They refer to roads by name. Any numbers that are posted are more for the benefit of visitors/tourists than anyone else.

In that regard, the Dempster Highway has ended in Inuvik for decades and everyone is used to thinking of it as such. The new "Road to Tuk" is a separate and distinct road in people's minds.


Will be interesting to see if NT decides to stick a number on this road to Whati though. If they do it will probably be either 9 or 11. But that is an if.
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Re: Construction begins on 97km year-round road from NWT 3 to Whati
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2019, 11:01:05 PM »

Come to think of it, would that also be why NT 3 and NT 4 (used to) end at each other for no reason?  Of course, that begs the question... why didn't route numbers catch on in the far north like they did everywhere else?  And if the locals ignore them anyways, why not establish the system logically?  I would think the placement of NT 10 would be more confusing to tourists than not having a number at all.
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Alps

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Re: Construction begins on 97km year-round road from NWT 3 to Whati
« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2019, 12:46:53 AM »

Come to think of it, would that also be why NT 3 and NT 4 (used to) end at each other for no reason?  Of course, that begs the question... why didn't route numbers catch on in the far north like they did everywhere else?  And if the locals ignore them anyways, why not establish the system logically?  I would think the placement of NT 10 would be more confusing to tourists than not having a number at all.
When you have very few roads, route names aren't going to be confused as much. Looking at the proliferation of names across the country with contradictory markings, that's why route numbers came into being. When Alaska only has a dozen named highways, do you really need the numbers?

oscar

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Re: Construction begins on 97km year-round road from NWT 3 to Whati
« Reply #16 on: September 15, 2019, 03:35:01 AM »

Come to think of it, would that also be why NT 3 and NT 4 (used to) end at each other for no reason?  Of course, that begs the question... why didn't route numbers catch on in the far north like they did everywhere else?

Hawaii is the same way. Except for a temporary route number system on Oahu, set up by the military during World War II (which quickly fell into disuse as soon as the war was over), it didn't get numbered routes until just before statehood. And the route numbers are pretty well ignored by locals in favor of route names, except the Interstates which were largely unnamed until 2002.

When Alaska only has a dozen named highways, do you really need the numbers?

Alaska has hundreds of named highways, even leaving out wyes and other roads under a mile long. Some of the named highways are pretty major, including but not limited to freeways in Anchorage and Fairbanks, and the extensive highway network around Nome.
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Re: Construction begins on 97km year-round road from NWT 3 to Whati
« Reply #17 on: September 16, 2019, 10:19:46 AM »

I don't know about the others, but in the case of Windows 10, it's because Microsoft switched to doing more minor upgrades every so often rather than having a big release every couple years and didn't want to end on 9.

Regarding NT 10, IMO it should have been an extension of NT 8.  Such would have made for a much more logical route system.

The iPhone X was given the "ten" designation because it was the tenth anniversary of the original iPhone's release.
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Re: Construction begins on 97km year-round road from NWT 3 to Whati
« Reply #18 on: September 22, 2019, 03:38:35 PM »

Will be interesting to see if NT decides to stick a number on this road to Whati though. If they do it will probably be either 9 or 11. But that is an if.

If you want to make a big bet on what the route number will be, do some research on available numbers of numerological or historic significance to the Tlicho people it would serve.

The Nisga'a Highway in British Columbia got an unusually high number, BC 113. That's how many years it took the Nisga'a to get official recognition of their First Nation. Alaska's part of the Klondike Highway got AK 98 (all other route numbers are in the 1-11 range), for the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2019, 03:41:58 PM by oscar »
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Kniwt

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Re: Construction begins on 97km year-round road from NWT 3 to Whati
« Reply #19 on: October 16, 2020, 10:51:17 PM »

Resurrecting this topic for this construction update from the CBC:
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/tlicho-all-season-road-update-1.5764071

Quote
About 70 per cent of the project to build a 97-kilometre all-season gravel road connecting Highway 3 to Whati, N.W.T. is now complete, said project manager Ziaur Rahman in a media briefing Thursday.

The two-lane road is set to open in the fall of 2021, a full year ahead of schedule and despite interruptions due to COVID-19.

... It's estimated it will cost $411 million to build and operate the road for 25 years.

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Re: Construction begins on 97km year-round road from NWT 3 to Whati
« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2020, 11:29:28 AM »

I don't know about the others, but in the case of Windows 10, it's because Microsoft switched to doing more minor upgrades every so often rather than having a big release every couple years and didn't want to end on 9.
What I read was that loads of existing software would incorrectly detect what version of Windows was running, with "Windows 9" being a substring of Windows 9x (95, 98, yadda yadda)
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