Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut September 12, 2012 - 7:09 am

Bunker, communication tower at Iqaluit’s Upper Base slated for demolition

“I’m glad it will be demolished. It is danger to the public”

DAVID MURPHY

The City of Iqaluit plans to clean up two old eyesores left behind in the Upper Base area, near the city’s expanding Plateau subdivision.

A decommissioned bunker and two communication towers that lie near the new subdivision will be demolished, after councillors voted unanimously to get rid of the abandoned structures at a Sept. 11 city council meeting.

The structures are the remnants of a Pinetree line radar site, which the U.S Air Force built in the early 1950s and closed in the early 1960s. The federal government cleaned up and remediated nearly all of the Upper Base site in 1996 and 1997.

Two companies bid for the tender, but Nunavut Excavating won the contract to remove the bunker and towers, beating out Kudlik Construction Ltd. by $533,800.

The total cost of the contract, which is awarded to the lowest bidder by the city, is $121,810 plus GST.

After being used as a seismograph station by Natural Resources Canada, the bunker was finally decommissioned in 1972 and hasn’t been used since.

Originally Government of Canada land, the city is demolishing the structure so that it can claim the area to allow for residential development. 

According to director of planning and development at the city of Iqaluit Arif Sayani, the demolition will now “allow for a lot development to proceed.”

The area around the bunker and communication tower, named “Phase 4” of Iqaluit’s development scheme, is slated to hold medium-density residential dwellings, and could hold twelve-plex housing units in the near future.

Councillor Jimmy Kilabuk is thrilled with the decision, saying the area is currently “unsafe.”

“I’m glad it will be demolished. It is danger to the public,” Kilabuk said.

Phase 4 of the city’s development scheme, along with other development projects, will allow the city to grow to 13,000 people by 2030.

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