Highway 3, known more commonly as the Yellowknife Highway, but also the Great Slave Highway, connects Yellowknife, Northwest Territories to Highway 1, from a junction 188 km (117 mi) north of the Alberta border. Built in 1960, the highway is now completely paved and realigned after years of work concluded in 2006.
The highway also connects with Behchoko (formerly Rae-Edzo) and Fort Providence. From Yellowknife, Highway 4 extends a further 70 km (43 mi) north, also providing access to the seasonal winter roads used by commercial trucking for mine resupply.
At the Mackenzie River (just south of Fort Providence), the crossing was achieved from 1960 through November 2012 with a ferry service (May–January) and ice bridge (December to March). Transportation was interrupted in the spring for approximately five weeks when the ice bridge deteriorated but ice conditions prevented safe ferry operations. The vessel Merv Hardie served since 1968.
On November 30, 2012, the official opening of the Deh Cho Bridge took place, replacing the ferry/ice bridge at this crossing. Trucks pay tolls on northbound crossings, with pre-registered trucks using an electronic device being charged automatically. Private passenger vehicles do not pay a toll. Estimated costs have more than tripled since 2003.
- "Deh Cho Bridge to open Nov. 30". CBC News. November 6, 2012. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
- CBC News: A closer look at Canada's infrastructure blockbusters. November 16, 2011.
- A piece of history begins to melt
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