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Funding announced for active transportation projects in two Yukon communities

Press Release

From: Infrastructure Canada

Whitehorse, Yukon, January 10, 2024 — Active transportation projects will provide healthy and convenient travel options in Whitehorse and Watson Lake, after a combined investment of more than $14 million from the governments of Canada and Yukon and communities.

Announced by MP Brendan Hanley, Minister Nils Clarke, and Mayor Laura Cabott, these projects will help residents stay active and get around through cleaner, safer, and healthier options.

The Government of Yukon will upgrade the Takhini River Bridge, along the North Klondike Highway in Whitehorse, by adding cantilevered pathway with lighting to create a safe crossing for pedestrians and cyclists. A total of 3 km of shoulder lanes will be painted on the approaches to the bridge to accommodate users and expand the network of accessible options for residents.

The City of Whitehorse will receive funding to make safety improvements and create a new route on McIntyre Drive corridor, within the Kwanlin Dün First Nation. This will include curb extensions for pedestrian and calming traffic,  installation of concrete wheelchair and pedestrian ramps,  new sidewalks, and dedicated bike lanes.

In the Town of Watson Lake, the Government of Yukon will install new street lights along the Robert Campbell Highway, upgrade two existing crosswalks with signage and lighting along the Alaska Highway, construct four new pedestrian crosswalks, and build up to 100 metres of trails and paths to connect the four crosswalks. These crosswalks will be located along the Alaska and Robert Campbell Highways to provide safer connections between the school, local businesses, tourist attractions and walking trails on the opposite side of the highway. Furthermore, funding will also be used to plan for enhancements to the Wye Lake Trail and create an accessible pathway  through the Signpost Forest.

These investments are part of Canada’s National Active Transportation Strategy, which aims to create and improve pathways, bike lanes, and pedestrian bridges all over the country. It’s a big step towards healthier living and creating tight-knit communities, making a better-connected Canada for us all.


“Strategic investments in active transportation infrastructure foster inclusive and sustainable communities. Working in tandem with our partners, we’re creating safe avenues to connect residents to schools, jobs, and important amenities through safer and healthier modes of travel.”

Dr. Brendan Hanley, Member of Parliament for Yukon, on behalf of the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities

“As we continue working towards a cleaner future together, making active transportation a priority throughout the Yukon is a key aspect of our government’s infrastructure planning. With support from the Government of Canada’s Active Transportation Fund, we are supporting improvements to the Takhini River Bridge on the North Klondike Highway as well as enhancements to streetlights and crosswalks in Watson Lake. These upgrades will encourage healthier living, create greener communities, and offer safer travel options for everyone, whether it be in a vehicle, on a bike or on foot.

The Honourable Nils Clarke, Minister of Highways and Public Works

“This project has been in the planning and design phase for a few years and Council is very pleased to now see it proceed to construction. The McIntyre Drive Corridor upgrades are yet another example of the City’s commitment to creating neighbourhoods that are safe, accessible, and support active transportation.

Her Worship Laura Cabott, Mayor of Whitehorse

“Upgrades to McIntyre Drive will empower our community and make it easier for Citizens to choose active transportation. These upgrades will also enhance accessibility and safety for everyone.”

Kwanlin Dün First Nation Chief Sean Uyenets’echᶖa Smith

“The Mayor and Council of Watson Lake express profound gratitude to the Government of Canada and the Government of Yukon for their substantial investment through the Active Transportation Fund. This funding will be instrumental in advancing crucial pedestrian safety measures, enhancing pathways, and upgrading lighting and crosswalks along key highways in our community. We particularly appreciate the Government of Yukon’s commitment to installing new street lighting, upgrading existing crosswalks, constructing new ones, and improving trails, aligning seamlessly with our vision for a safer and more connected Watson Lake. As we enter 2024 these transformative projects, coupled with the broader initiatives, underscore our collective dedication to fostering a healthier and more sustainable community. We eagerly anticipate the positive transformations that will benefit the well-being and prosperity of our residents.”

His Worship Christopher Irvin, Mayor of Watson Lake

Quick facts

  • The federal government is investing $10,543,440 in these projects through the Active Transportation Fund (ATF), the territorial government is contributing $2,430,834, and the City of Whitehorse is investing $1,200,000. The Town of Watson Lake and Liard First Nation are each contributing $34,583.
  • Active transportation refers to the movement of people or goods powered by human activity. It includes walking, cycling and the use of human-powered or hybrid mobility aids such as wheelchairs, scooters, e-bikes, rollerblades, snowshoes, cross-country skis, and more.
  • In support of Canada’s National Active Transportation Strategy, the Active Transportation Fund is providing $400 million over five years, starting in 2021, to make travel by active transportation easier, safer, more convenient, and more enjoyable.
  • Canada’s National Active Transportation Strategy is the country’s first coast-to-coast-to-coast strategic approach for promoting active transportation and its benefits. The strategy’s aim is to make data-driven and evidence-based investments to build new and expanded active transportation networks, while creating safe environments for more equitable, healthy, active and sustainable travel options to thrive.
  • Active transportation infrastructure provides many tangible benefits, such as creating good middle-class jobs, strengthening the economy, promoting healthier lifestyles, advancing equity amongst vulnerable Canadians, cutting air and noise pollution, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Investing in safer active transportation infrastructure is key to ensuring people of all ages and abilities can access jobs and services and connect with their communities.
  • The Active Transportation Fund complements Canada’s strengthened climate plan: A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy. Through the plan the federal government committed to providing permanent federal funding for public transit in support of making clean and affordable transportation options available in every community.
  • The federal government is investing billions of dollars to provide predictable federal public transit funding which will be available to support reliable, fast, affordable, and clean public transit solutions beginning in 2026-27.
  • Federal funding is conditional on signed funding agreements and fulfilling all requirements related to consultation with Indigenous groups and environmental assessment obligations.

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For more information (media only), please contact:

Micaal Ahmed
Communications Manager
Office of the Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities

Media Relations
Infrastructure Canada
Toll free: 1-877-250-7154
Web: Infrastructure Canada

Antoine Goulet
Communications and Public Relations Analyst
Government of Yukon

Oshea Jephson
Manager, Strategic Communications
City of Whitehorse

Dylan MacNeil
Acting Communications Manager
Kwanlin Dün First Nation

Mayor Christopher Irvin
Town of Watson Lake
867-536-8000 ext. 5



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