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Cost of ‘most significant infrastructure project’ in Yukon history climbs

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The cost of replacing the Nisutlin Bay Bridge has grown by $23.9 million to a total of $183.8 million as a result of a change order, according to a statement by Highways and Public Works Minister Nils Clarke.

On the floor of the legislature this past November, Clarke admitted the Yukon government and Graham Infrastructure LP were negotiating a change order.

During the fall sitting of the Yukon Legislative Assembly on Nov. 9, Stacey Hassard, Yukon Party MLA for Pelly-Nisutlin, asked for an indication on how much the change order is going to cost. Clarke wouldn’t give in while negotiations were underway.

Clarke’s statement issued on Jan. 11 dubs the new bridge being built in Teslin as the “most significant infrastructure project” in Yukon’s history.

As a result of the change order, the cost of the construction contract went up, per the statement. The added cost will come out of the territorial government’s capital budget.

The statement explains that a change order “stemmed from unexpected and restrictive terms and conditions” in the Fisheries Act authorization and water licence required for the project.

In November 2022, the Yukon government received new, restrictive limits on noise impacts on fish. Given the timelines in receiving an amended Fisheries Act authorization, some construction activities were pushed back and the contractor had to adjust its work schedule.

Construction is continuing during the 2024 building season.

The old bridge will be decommissioned in fall 2025 to spring 2026, per the government’s website.

The new bridge is expected to be complete by 2026, a communications worker said by email.

Contact Dana Hatherly at dana.hatherly@yukon-news.com

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