Dettah ice road unlikely to open before Christmas, says GNWT

Dettah ice road
The project would replace the ice road with an all-season, two-lane, gravel road. File photo.
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The Dettah ice road is unlikely to open before Christmas, according to the territory’s Department of Transportation.

Officials say there is ‘significantly less’ ice on parts of Great Slave Lake this year, and that warmer weather is to blame.

“Warm weather has been a factor with respect to the rate of ice growth on Great Slave Lake,” said Michael Conway, regional superintendent with the North Slave region.

“Early indications are there is significantly less ice this year compared to most previous years.

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“Highway crews using ground penetrating radar and amphibious vehicles will be measuring ice thickness on Dec. 20 to determine when the ice is safe to begin construction activities.

“Although the department usually aims to have the Dettah ice road in service prior to Christmas, with the unseasonably warm fall temperatures we have had, it is unlikely this year.”

Last season, the ice road opened much later than normal on Jan. 2 and closed on Apr. 19.

Its 15-year average opening date is Dec. 21, with an average closing date of Apr. 21.

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