New funding for north Alaska highway upgrades to be provided over three years

Minister of Highways and Public Works Nils Clarke and Premier Ranj Pillai make announcement about the north Alaska highway.

The Government of Yukon is pleased to see the impact of the territory’s closer relationship with the Government of Alaska resulting in benefits for Yukoners and Alaskans. Following the Memorandum of Understanding signed in February by the Yukon’s Premier Ranj Pillai and Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy, much-needed upgrades on the north Alaska Highway will begin in 2025 and continue until the end of the project in 2027.

Construction and upgrades will be funded by a $31.125 million USD (approximately $42.6 million CAD) investment by the Government of Alaska through the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). This funding will help to ensure safe and efficient travel for Yukoners and Alaskans along this critical northern route.

The highway serves as the primary land link between southeast Alaska and the rest of the United States and connects many rural communities in the Yukon including Haines Junction, Destruction Bay, Burwash Landing and Beaver Creek. This roadway also links the traditional territories of the Champagne and Aishihik, Kluane and White River First Nations. 

On February 9 of this year, the Yukon’s Premier Ranj Pillai and Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy signed a Memorandum of Understanding. This agreement commits Alaska’s Department of Transportation and Public Facilities and the Government of Yukon’s Department of Highways and Public Works to work together to restore sections of the Alaska Highway in the Yukon.

The project will target a portion of the north Alaska highway, spanning approximately 222.5 kilometres from Destruction Bay to the Canada-US border. This section faces a range of road maintenance and safety challenges due to thawing permafrost. Restoration efforts will involve resurfacing and repairing the road underneath the surface and culverts. It will also include improvement to the drainage to make sure the road can be used safely at its intended speed.

The Government of Yukon is pleased to work with Alaska on shared priorities that improve the prosperity, stability and wellbeing of both Alaskans and Yukoners.

This partnership showcases the importance of working in collaboration towards a shared goal for northerners. The north Alaska highway is a vital component of our collective regional infrastructure. I know this funding commitment will ensure we can maintain the highway in optimal and safe condition for Yukoners, Alaskans and visitors. Maintaining this corridor bolsters security, facilitates trade, promotes tourism, and supports essential aspects of daily life in the North.

Premier Ranj Pillai

This is a significant milestone for Alaska as we advance our partnership with the Yukon. This success in the STIP application underscores the importance of maintaining a safe and efficient passage for all visitors to the North, and we look forward to an exciting construction season ahead.

Governor of Alaska Mike Dunleavy

I extend my gratitude to Alaska for its contribution to restoring part of the north Alaska highway with its Statewide Transportation Improvement Program. The funding allocated under this program will help mitigate the effects of thawing permafrost on this essential roadway. This contribution showcases both our governments’ recognition of the importance of this road link, as well as our commitment to keep the north Alaska highway safe for all road travellers.

Minister of Highways and Public Works Nils Clarke

Quick facts 
  • In February 2024, the Yukon and Alaska submitted a joint application for U.S. government funding under the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) discretionary grant program.

  • STIP is separate from RAISE funding and work can proceed without the latter.

  • The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (also called the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law) has specific language that allows portions of the Alaska Highway in Canada to compete for and receive US federal grant funding for its reconstruction.

Media contact 

Laura Seeley
Cabinet Communications
867-332-7627
laura.seeley@yukon.ca

Myra Nicks
Communications, Executive Council Office
867-667-5339 
myra.nicks@yukon.ca 

Antoine Goulet
Communications, Highways and Public Works
867-334-5517
antoine.goulet@yukon.ca

News release #: 
24-190