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Alaska Highway upgrade planned for 2007

The final section of the decades long reconstruction of the Alaska Highway could begin next year.

The final legof the decades long reconstruction of the Alaska Highway could begin next year.

The Yukon government announced plans late last week for modernizing a narrow section of road that winds along the edge of Sheep Mountain and the southern shore of Kluane Lake, about 50 kilometres northwest of Haines Junction, Yukon.

The plan is under review by the territory's environmental screening agency. If approved, construction on the nearly eight-kilometre stretch of highway will begin this spring.

Al Nixon, manager of environmental affairs for the Highways Department, told CBC Radio News that this is the final section of road construction in the Yukon to be funded under the U.S.-funded Shakwak Project.

The Shakwak Project began in 1977 to bring nearly 500 kilometres of both the Alaska Highway and Haines Highway up to modern standards.

Nixon says the work on this part of the Alaska Highway will utilize construction methods that minimize environmental impact while keeping the highway open to traffic.

The project will have a price tag of several million dollars and could take up to two years to complete, Nixon said.

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