N.W.T. celebrates Deh Cho Bridge opening

Hundreds of people gathered at the Deh Cho Bridge near Fort Providence, N.W.T., Friday for its official opening.

About 100 people walked across the Deh Cho Bridge near Fort Providence, N.W.T., Friday for its official opening.

The bridge is the first year-round road link across the Mackenzie River to communities in N.W.T.'s North Slave region, including the capital Yellowknife. It replaces a ferry and a winter ice crossing.

Everyone walking across paused to take in the view at some point, including Margaret Leishman.    

"It's high, it's high. It's so high," she said. "I've never seen it [from] this high before. The scenery is all different. That's where I was born up there, Dory Point."

Once the people were safely on the other side of the river, the cars and trucks started making their way across. 

Doc Brown has been driving this route since 1961, and his truck was first across the bridge. 

"I was looking at it today; it's not as steep as it seems," he said. "It's a good drive. They were afraid they wouldn't be able to sand it, but they did."

With traffic now flowing on the highway, people retreated to Deh Gah School in Fort Providence for food and speeches.

The 1 km-long bridge cost $202 million to build and has an expected design life of 75 years.


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