The GNWT have confirmed that the Dettah Ice Road has finally reached the required amount of ice thickness for work on the road to begin, though it is not yet open.
Construction has already begun, and it is expected to be completed within a week’s time, depending on weather conditions. Crews will be working to clear snow and build the road itself before it is safe enough for the public to use.
At this time, it is illegal and unsafe for drivers to use the road, and the GNWT is asking that the public keep an eye out for workers and equipment around the Yellowknife Bay area for the next few days.
Darren Campbell, a communications officer with the GNWT’s Department of Infrastructure, shared some additional details. He stated that this is the latest time of year that the road has ever been opened.
“The latest the Dettah ice road has opened to the public with the 30 years of records the GNWT has on opening and closing dates for this road is January 11. That has occurred three times – 2020, 2019 and 2000.”
He also stated that it is difficult to tell how long the Dettah Ice Road, as well as all other winter roads, will remain open, as it is highly dependent on conditions that the GNWT doesn’t have control over. In 2023 the Dettah ice road closed on April 10. The 20-year average closing date for the road is April 16.