Canada plans all-weather road

EXCLUSIVE: Canada's Northwest Territories province is looking at creating a new road to serve the region's diamond mines in the north.

Speaking to P3 Bulletin at the CCPPP conference in Toronto, the province's deputy minister of finance, Mike Aumond, said officials are currently "exploring whether we can finance an all-weather road to give more transport security" to traffic serving the mines.

At present, the mines have to spend millions every year maintaining a ice-road for eight weeks of the year. However, an all-weather toll road would provide the mines with a cheaper and safer solution.

Aumond suggested that toll revenue would be predictable because the road is virtually a private one servicing the mines, meaning it will not be subject to significant fluctuations in traffic flows.
"We are at the conceptual stage at the moment," he said. "We are about a year away from starting the procurement process."

Aumond explained that the road would run for around 150km, from the end of Highway 4 to Makay Lake, where the diamond mining takes place. He estimated the project could cost in the region of $300m.