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The new bridge over the Kakisa River took over a year and a half to build. ((CBC))

A new bridge that opened Monday over the Kakisa River means motorists won't have to slow down to five kilometres an hour to cross the N.W.T. river.

The new 179-metre long, three-span, two-lane bridge is wider and more capable of highway cruising speeds than the older bridge it is replacing, which had already exceeded its 50-year lifespan.

"It's going to be able to handle more traffic and heavier traffic than the old bridge," N.W.T. Transportation Department spokesman Earl Blacklock told CBC News.

Blacklock said the bridge is designed to meet a national standard of up to 64,000 kilograms (141,095 pounds ) per load. The structure will have a lifespan of 75 years, he added.

The new Kakisa River bridge took a year and a half to build. Its $18-million price tag was split evenly between the federal and N.W.T. governments.

The bridge was opened at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday afternoon, followed by a community celebration in Kakisa.

Corrections

  • A Transportation Department spokesman erroneously noted that the new Kakisa River bridge in the Northwest Territories was built for loads of up to 64,000 pounds. The bridge can actually sustain loads of up to 64,000 kilograms (141,095 pounds).
    Oct 06, 2009 10:45 AM CT