Canada' Yukon Territory has awarded the $160-million Nisutlin Bay Bridge replacement project—the largest-ever capital project for the territory—to Calgary-based Graham Infrastructure LP.

“The Nisutlin Bay Bridge is an important landmark for Teslin, a key gateway to the Yukon and a critical transportation link along the Alaska Highway that keeps our communities connected,” said Canada's Minister of Highways and Public Works, Nils Clarke, in a statement. “This project is an excellent example of the benefits provided by the Yukon First Nations Procurement Policy and will create jobs for Teslin Tlingit community members and Yukoners.”

The existing Alaska Highway bridge crosses Teslin Lake, Yukon, at the narrowest point of the bay. At 1,917 ft in length, it is the longest bridge on the Alaska Highway and serves as a critical transportation link for the territory. Originally built in 1953 by Canada’s Dept. of National Defense, the span is nearing the end of its service life.

The new bridge will be built alongside the existing bridge and is scheduled to be completed in 2026. The original span will be decommissioned when the new one goes into service.

This area is home to a First Nations group, the Inland Tlingit. The Government of Yukon developed the design working in collaboration with the Teslin Tlingit Council. The two signed a project charter for the bridge in 2019.

“Replacing the iconic Nisutlin Bay Bridge is a major project for our community, the largest in recent memory,” said Naa Shaáde Háni of Teslin Tlingit Council Eric Morris in a statement. “We look forward to continuing to work with the Yukon government and Graham Infrastructure LP to maximize the economic benefits for the community while minimizing the social impacts of the project.”

The new bridge will improve safety for drivers, while allowing for increased traffic volume that will accommodate larger loads of commercial and strategic goods to supply the Yukon and Alaska.

The bridge also will include a pedestrian walkway and be lined by 30-ft-tall street lamps. And the span is designed for the seismic resistance required for the earthquake zone.