Bridge timeline

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An approximate timeline of Deh Cho Bridge events.


  • July – The Fort Providence Combined Council Alliance and Deh Cho MLA considers the idea of constructing of the bridge and agreed to conditions for proceeding with a feasibility study.
  • September - The Alliance obtains seed financing of $100,000 from the federal and territorial governments for the initial feasibility study.


  • December 2001 - The Alliance completes and approves a preliminary design and estimate, environmental scoping and financing plan.


  • February - GNWT receives proposal with preliminary feasibility study from the Fort Providence Combined Council Alliance
  • May 2 - GNWT approves $200,000 contribution to FPCCA to begin negotiations, and a further $200,000 for the Department of Transportation for various review and analysis studies.
  • November 15 - Memorandum of Intent signed between the GNWT and the Alliance, setting out many of the terms of what would later become the Concession Agreement.
  • November 28 - Deh Cho Bridge Corporation (DCBC) is incorporated, with the shareholders being the Deh Gah Gotie First Nation and the Fort Providence Metis Council.
  • December 2002 – An agreement with NTCL on the navigation clearances for the bridge removed a major hurdle to finalizing the design and seeking permits.



  • January 6 - Letter and Screening Report from DFO sends bridge project to MVEIRB for review, citing Chamber of Mines concerns.
  • January 14 - Andrew Gamble writes scathing letter to DFO regarding its referral.
  • January 24 - Andrew Gamble writes conciliatory letter to Chamber of Mines regarding its concerns.
  • January 26 - Chamber of Mines writes to MVEIRB asking to withdraw their letter of concern.
  • February 16 - DFO writes to MVEIRB noting the Chamber's withdrawal.
  • March 5 - MVEIRB issues Terms of Reference for the Environmental Assessment.
  • April 13 - The Indian and Northern Affairs Canada Regional Partnership Fund announces a contribution of up to $3 million to Deh Cho Bridge Corporation.
  • April 7 - DCBC submits its Developer's Assessment Report (DAR) to MVEIRB.
  • April 21 - MVEIRB informs DCBC of deficiencies in its Developer's Application Report.
  • May 25 - DCBC submits revised DAR to MVEIRB
  • June 10 - DCBC presentation to MVEIRB.
  • June 17 - DCBC applies to MVLWB for Land Use Permit
  • October 21 - MVEIRB holds public hearing in Fort Providence
  • December 10 - MVEIRB recommends to the Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs that the project does not need an environmental impact review.


  • March 15 - INAC announces acceptance of the MVEIRB recommendation.
  • April 5 - Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board distributes draft Water License
  • July 13 - MVLWB issues Water License and Land Use Permit to DCBC
  • October - Project tendered; one bidder, rejected due to price ($179 million for the DCBC design, or $30 million less for a design-build option).
  • Oct-Nov - tenders requested from SNC Lavalin Inc., Peter Kiewit Sons Co. Ltd., Graham Construction and Engineering Inc. and American Bridge, due December.[1]
  • November - Navigational Waters Protection Act approval issued.
  • December 16 - Graham Construction drops out of bidding, deadline extended to Jan 20.[2]


  • January - tender deadline extended again, to March 22, in hopes of attracting more bidders. American Bridge and Peter Kiewit combine their efforts.[3]
  • February - Project retendered (or independent cost estimate obtained), $155 million construction price still too high. "Project shelved".
  • March 31 - Contribution agreement with INAC expires, only $1.37 million of the announced $3 million is paid.
  • July - Updated PROLOG traffic forecast


  • March - With no federal infrastructure funding forthcoming (the GNWT had requested $50 million), the GNWT commits to an extra $2 million annual subsidy to fill the funding gap.
  • June - GNWT and DCBC issue status update on bridge project.
  • June 6 - Canam/Structal-Bridges files suit in the NWT Supreme Court against DCBC and asks for an injunction to prevent anyone else from supplying steel to the project, claiming it had a contract. [4]
  • July - Atcon Construction submits a guaranteed maximum price tender ($130 million???).
  • July 18 - DCBC files statement of defense in Canam lawsuit, claiming no contract was ever agreed. [5]
  • August 22 - Premier Handley announces he will not be running in the Oct 1 election.
  • August 24 - "Limited Approval to Proceed" signed and official celebration held in Fort Providence.
  • September 28 - Concession Agreement signed.
  • October 1 - NWT General Election
  • December - Updated Cost-Benefit analysis.


  • January 30 - Atcon agrees to take $2 million equity stake in the DCBC, after an unnamed Alberta company demands last-minute changes in its agreement to provide the funding.
  • February 7-8 - Concession Agreement provided to NWT MLAs, revised cost-benefit analysis made public.
  • February 22 - $165.4 million funding from bond issue provided.
  • March - construction begins.


  • April - GNWT design review report (by BP-TEC/T.Y. Lin) released.
  • May - Infinity Engineering completes review of TY Lin design-change suggestions, begins redesign of superstructure.
  • June - Dispute between Atcon and its subcontractor Ruskin Construction stops construction work. DCBC takes foundations site work responsibility away from Atcon.
  • July 24 - DCBC contracts with Ruskin directly for work on North piers and abutments.
  • December - Negotiations fail between DCBC and Atcon to adjust the contract based on the new design. Atcon is removed from the project, and will have its equity stake bought out by DCBC.


  • January - Infinity completes final bridge design, which is approved the by GNWT.
  • February - Negotiation of revised cost and schedule for superstructure and deck, and revised construction contract. Limited Notices to Proceed issued to ensure shop drawings commence.
  • February - GNWT announces it will take over management of the project from the DCBC. Existing project management team will be replaced.
  • February 18 - GNWT introduces supplementary budget appropriation to advance an additional $15 million in construction financing to the Deh Cho Bridge Corporation. Discussed in committee February 23, and passed February 26.
  • February 25 - Atcon Construction (no longer involved with the bridge project) placed under creditor protection in New Brunswick.
  • March 3 - Ruskin Construction announced as the new general contractor, with Associated Engineering providing engineering oversight.
  • March 8 - The GNWT announces that it will consider legislation to allow it to assume and administer the assets and debts of the Deh Cho Bridge project.
  • March 23 - Legislative Assembly reconvenes to discuss changes in the Bridge project.
  • March 25 - Assembly passes Bill 6, authorizing the assumption of the Bridge debt. A motion requesting a special audit by the Auditor-General of Canada is also passed.
  • June 17 - Andrew Gamble and Jivko Jivkov file suit against the DCBC in the NWT Supreme Court, claiming they are owed $534,000 and $818,000, respectively.
  • June 18 - the GNWT and the DCBC sign the Transition Letter, setting out the terms of the transfer of the Bridge project to the GNWT.


  • May - Announcement that delays mean Bridge opening will not be until 2012.
  • Oct - New Brunswick cabinet quietly approves payment of $13.3 million into an account to honor Atcon's security bond.
  • Dec 13 - new Transportation Minister David Ramsay indicates that the 2012/13 capital budget will include an additional $10 million or so to cover increased costs of Bridge construction. This takes the construction budget to at least $192 million.


  • February 26 - the two sides of bridge are connected together.
  • Nov 6 - GNWT and bankruptcy receivers for Atcon agree to $1.3 million payment to Atcon to settle termination claims. Not made public until submitted for approval in April 2013.
  • Nov 30 - Bridge opens with public ceremony.


April 23 - New Brunswick bankruptcy court to approve settlement of termination claim; GNWT to pay $1.3 million.


  1. Neary, Dennis (7 November 2005). "Mackenzie bridge builder to be picked". Northern News Services. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  2. Danylchuk, Jack (16 December 2005). "Deh Cho bridge tenders delayed". Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  3. Ryan, David (15 March 2006). "Deh Cho bridge tenders delayed". Northern News Services. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  4. "Quebec company seeks court injunction against N.W.T. bridge work". 22 August 2007. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  5. "N.W.T. bridge lawsuit without merit: engineer". 28 August 2007. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 

External Links

GNWT Timeline (PDF) - Department of Transportation timeline (extracted from Feb 24, 2010 information package).