The Dettah has not reached sufficient ice thickness and likely won’t be open by the average opening date of Dec. 24.

“Staff have encountered large areas of water overflow across the Yellowknife end of the Dettah ice road alignment. In addition to these overflow conditions, ice profiling done within the first two kilometres revealed ice thicknesses of between 21 and 27 cm,” stated Darren Campbell, manager of public affairs and communications for the Department of Infrastructure, on Monday.

“We require a minimum of 35 cm of ice thickness to safely start clearing snow for this ice road. The GNWT is waiting for these overflow areas to freeze and continues to monitor ice thickness prior to the start of snow clearing activities.”

In 2021 and 2022, the Dettah ice crossing was opened by Dec. 24, but the prior three years, it was not opened to traffic until January.

The GNWT would not rule out that the ice road could open by Dec. 24 this year.

“Opening dates are heavily dependent on weather and ice conditions. In addition to mild temperatures, extreme cold can also impact the building of an ice road as it is not easy on our machines or workers and can impact opening dates and weight restrictions,” said Campbell, who noted that GNWT staff started measuring the ice road depth on Dec. 16.

He advised drivers to check road opening and closures on the Department of Infrastructure’s highway conditions map, which also includes load allowance, as found on the GNWT website.

According to that web page, the road was being worked on as of Dec. 22.

Jonathan Gardiner

After a tough break looking for employment in Alberta, I moved to Yellowknife in 2017 and became a multimedia journalist in 2022. I enjoy the networking side of my job, and I also aspire to write my...

Leave a comment

Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.