Highways and Public Works

Department Overview

Shakwak Project

The Shakwak Project
In 1970, the U.S. Congress requested that a feasibility study be made for paving the Haines Road and the northern portion of the Alaska Highway to provide an all-weather roadway between Southeast and interior Alaska.
The project covers approximately 325 miles:
• the Canadian segment of the Haines Road from Haines, Alaska, to Haines Junction; and
• the northern portion of the Alaska Highway from Haines Junction to the Alaska Border. 

The Shakwak Agreement
The agreement has been a great benefit to both countries: the U.S. gets a modern highway link for Alaska, while Canada’s Yukon gets upgraded access for its highway communities plus economic benefits from the construction money expended.

In 1977, the Canadian and United States Goverments negotiated the Shakwak Agreement
~ to improve the Alaska Highway highway sections in Canada and the Haines Road, and
~ to facilitate transportation between and within their respective countries.

The United States agreed to pay the cost of reconstruction.Canada agreed to manage the reconstruction, provide land and granular resources, and maintain the highway after reconstruction. The Government of Yukon became involved with the project in 1992, when responsibility for the Alaska Highway was devolved to the Yukon from Public Works Canada.

The funding has depended upon allocations by the U.S. Congress, and it has not been continuous since inception of the agreement.

Engineering goals
The goal has been to reconstruct roughly 500 km of the highway to a modern two-lane 100 km/h standard, following the existing road, with realignments where needed to meet modern standards.

Contact Us

Contact Transportation Engineering

Government of Yukon
Department of Highways and Public Works
Box 2703 (W-13)
Whitehorse, YT Y1A 2C6
Phone: (867) 667-8820
Toll free in Yukon: 1-800-661-0408 - local 8820
Fax: (867) 393-6447

Contact Transportation Maintenace

Department of Highways and Public Works
Government of Yukon
Box 2703 (W-12)
Whitehorse, YT Y1A 2C6
Phone: (867) 667-5644
Toll free (In Yukon): 1-800-661-0408, local 5644
Fax: (867) 667-3648
Email: highways@gov.yk.ca