Aklavik-Inuvik ice road closing raises concerns

Photo courtesy of Fred Behrens

Expanding the Aklavik fitness centre, and other community projects are at a stand still after Monday’s ice road closure.

“One truck load of materials is sitting in Inuvik, so we can’t get that over and delays that project by two months. We’ve got two truck loads of shale to put down on our ball field, one was still in Edmonton two days ago and the other one in Whitehorse, as well as our steamer to clean out our culverts prior to break-up and all that,” explained Senior Administrative Officer Fred Behrens.

Behrens adds the costs of the projects will increase significantly with the materials having to be barged instead.

The road was closed after a 100 metre opening was spotted by the Department of Infrastructure on Sunday, 30 kilometres from Aklavik at Schooner channel.

Regional Superintendant Merle Carpenter says cones and a 10 thousand kilogram weight restriction were put in place, but it became a safety concern after the opening grew on Monday.

“If somebody’s child, mother or family member were to go through there, there would be very little or no chance of recovery. I certainly don’t want that. I understand the communities concerns and sympathetic to them getting supplies, but I don’t want to jeopardize people’s safety to keep that road open,” said Carpenter defending the department’s decision to close the road at 4:20pm Monday.

The ice road between Aklavik and Fort McPherson is still open, but isn’t built for commercial traffic.

About the Author

Josh Campbell
Josh Campbell has returned to the CKLB News Team. He covered female university soccer and volleyball in New Brunswick, prior to graduating from Loyalist College in Mohawk Territory near Belleville, Ontario in 2007. He's covered politics and Indigenous stories in both the NWT and Yukon over the last 10 years.

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