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Exchange of Notes Between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America Concerning Re­construction of Canadian Portions of the Alaska Highway

E103554 - CTS 1977 No. 7


The Ambassador of the United States of America to the Secretary of State for External Affairs of Canada

OTTAWA, January 11, 1977

No. 11

The Honorable Donald Jamieson,
Secretary of State for External Affairs,


I have the honor to refer to the discussions between representatives of our two governments regarding bilateral cooperation in the reconstruction of Canadian portions of the Alaska Highway.

As a result of these discussions, I now have the honor to propose that the conditions set forth in the attached Annex, which accord with the understandings reached between the representatives of our two governments, should govern such reconstruction. These conditions shall not affect continuing obligations of the two governments regarding the status and use of the Alaska Highway, including the agreements effected by exchanges of notes dated March 17 and 18, l942; November 28 and December 7, 1942; and April 10, l943.

If these conditions are acceptable to your government, I propose that this Note, together with its Annex, and your reply indicating such concurrence, shall constitute an Agreement between our two governments, which shall enter into force on the date of your reply.

Accept, Sir, the renewed assurances of my highest consideration.

Thomas O. Enders


Agreed conditions regarding a program of cooperation between the Government of the United States represented by the Federal Highway Administrator, Department of Transpor­tation, and the Government of Canada, represented by the Minister of Public Works, to improve certain highways in Canada to facilitate transportation between and within their respective countries and to implement the purposes of Section 218 of Title 23, United States Code. These shall apply only to the program authorized by that section.

The Government of the United States and the Government of Canada agree as follows:

Article I

For purposes of this Agreement:

  1. “Highways” means that portion of the Alaska Highway from the Yukon-Alaska border to Haines Junction in Canada and the Haines Cutoff Highway from Haines Junction in Canada to the British Columbia-Alaska border.
  2. “Reconstruction” means the supervising, inspecting, actual rebuilding, paving and all other work incidental to the reconstruction of the highways (except for providing right-of-way), including but not limited to planning studies, environmental studies, locating, surveying, plan and specification preparation, contracting, financial control, traffic control devices and those utility relocations which are the responsibility of the Canadian Government.
  3. “Maintain such highways” means to perform such work on a year round basis as shall be necessary to keep the completed highway and related facilities in a state of repair and use equivalent to the standards to which they are reconstructed under this Agreement.

Article II

  1. The United States and Canada agree to the reconstruction of such Highways in accordance with standards agreed to by them jointly in writing prior to commencement of reconstruction.
  2. The United States will pay to Canada the cost of reconstruction out of funds appropriated for that purpose by the Congress of the United States and will:
    1. inform Canada of the amount of funds appropriated from time to time therefor in order that Canada may schedule and perform the reconstruction or such part thereof as may from time to time be paid for out of such appropriated funds,
    2. provide liaison with Canadian officials responsible for the program to meet and discuss planning, programming and scheduling of reconstruction, and
    3. process an Environmental Impact Statement in accordance with the laws of the United States and of Canada.
  3. Canada will:
    1. provide, without participation of the United States funds appropriated for the recon­struction, all necessary right-of-way for the reconstruction of such highways for a period of 25 years from the date of entry into force of this Agreement and thereafter until five years (or such shorter period as the parties may agree upon) after either party shall have notified the other that the right-of-way is no longer required for its purposes for the said highways, whereupon this Agreement shall cease to have force or effect,
    2. not impose any highway toll, or permit any such toll to be charged for the use of such highways by vehicles or persons,
    3. not levy or assess, directly or indirectly, any fee, tax or other charge for the use of such highways by vehicles or persons from the United States that does not apply equally to vehicles or persons of Canada,
    4. continue to grant reciprocal recognition of vehicle registrations and drivers’ licences in accordance with agreements between responsible authorities in each country,
    5. maintain such highways after reconstruction while this Agreement remains in force and effect,
    6. permit those performing the reconstruction to obtain natural construction materials, such as gravel, rock and earth fill, without cost to be used in the reconstruction, provided that the materials required shall be obtained in accordance with the directions and regulations of the appropriate Department of the Government of Canada,
    7. perform all reconstruction engineering, including preparation of Environmental Assessments and Statements, all necessary surveys, and preparation of reconstruction plans, specifications and estimates,
    8. commence the reconstruction only after receiving advice from the United States that the Environmental Impact Statement has been satisfactorily processed in accordance with the laws of the United States,
    9. arrange for the reconstruction to be performed under contracts awarded by competitive bidding insofar as possible and without regard as to whether the contractors are American or Canadian,
    10. supervise the reconstruction,
    11. obtain interim and final concurrence of the United States in the following:
      1. programming and scheduling of work
      2. scope, terms of reference and provisions of the Environmental Assessment and Statement
      3. alignment of the highways
      4. contract plans, specifications and estimates
      5. award of contracts
      6. acceptance of projects for final payment;
    12. permit the reasonable access of authorized representatives of the United States to the site of reconstruction and will make available the accounts and records relating to the reconstruction contracts, at all reasonable times, for purposes of inspection, verification and general monitoring of the reconstruction.
    1. The United States and Canada will jointly consider the settlement of claims by contractors or other persons arising out of reconstruction contracts and the reconstruction or either of them, and if any such claim cannot be resolved by agreement, the same shall be determined by the Federal Court of Canada in an action by or against Her Majesty the Queen in right of Canada.
    2. All legal costs, and other monies, paid out by Canada to settle any such claim whether pursuant to a final judgment of the Federal Court of Canada, or otherwise, shall be one of the costs of reconstruction for the purposes of this Agreement.
    3. The United States shall not be liable for the payment of such claims or judgments to the extent that they are held by the Federal Court of Canada to be the result of negligence on the part of Canada or its employees during the administration of the reconstruction.
  4. The United States and Canada jointly will develop operating procedures consistent with this Agreement, including procedures for resolving disputes between the parties.

Article III

This Agreement shall not be construed so as to vest in the United States any proprietary interest in the highways, and upon completion of the project, or any part thereof, the highways shall remain, in all respects, an integral part of the Canadian Highway System.


The Secretary of State for External Affairs of Canada to the Ambassador of the United States of America

OTTAWA, February 11, 1977

Note No. GWU-156

His Excellency Thomas O. Enders,
Ambassador of the United States of America,


I have the honour to refer to your Note No. 11 of January 11, 1977, concerning bilateral cooperation in the reconstruction of Canadian portions of the Alaska Highway.

I am pleased to inform you that the Government of Canada accepts the proposals set out in your Note and agrees that your Note, together with its Annex, and this reply, which is authentic in English and French, shall constitute an Agreement between our two Governments which shall enter into force on today’s date.

Accept, Excellency, the renewed assurances of my highest consideration.

Donald C. Jamieson
Secretary of State for External Affairs

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