WHITEHORSE, Yukon, Canada—Yukon Premier Darrell Pasloski is travelling to Washington, DC to meet with senators and congressmen to advocate for continued US funding for the Shakwak highway project.
The Shakwak Agreement was signed by the governments of Canada and United States in 1977. It identifies mutual commitments and responsibilities for the Shakwak highway corridor, which is the only year-round connection between Alaska and the North American road system.
“Now is the time to visit Washington and meet the decision-makers to ensure they are aware of our mutual agreement and advocate for their support to help reinstate project funding,” Pasloski said. “We need US federal support to continue improving the Shakwak highway corridor to deliver a safe and modern link between Alaska, Yukon and the lower 48 states.”
Shakwak refers to the northernmost portion of the Alaska Highway, from Haines Junction to the Alaskan border, as well as the Haines Road. It is a critical corridor for civil security, economic growth and energy development, with Americans accounting for 85 per cent of its traffic.
Under the 1977 Shakwak Agreement, funding responsibilities to reconstruct and improve the highways lies with the United States and ongoing maintenance is delivered by Yukon.
In 2012, the US federal government removed recognition and funding for the Shakwak highway project from its federal highways act funding.
“The Alaska Highway is critical infrastructure, for both Alaska and Yukon. We need to work together to ensure we meet the common Canada-US objective of re-building and maintaining a modern, stable, all-weather, two-lane highway,” Pasloski added.
Pasloski is joined on the trip by Vuntut Gwitchin MLA Darius Elias, who will meet Canadian and US officials to discuss issues specific to North Yukon, including the Porcupine Caribou Herd.
The Shakwak project at hpw.gov.yk.ca/trans/engineering/761.html
Communications, Executive Council Office