ice road

A road to the Arctic Ocean

INUVIK, NWT - The road residents of the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR) in Canada's Northwest Territories have been championing for more than 50 years is finally here. While final road-grading, and the installation of signage and guardrails continues, the all-weather road from Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk, ending on the shores of the Arctic Ocean, was officially opened Nov.15. Construction of the 138-kilometer northern highway began in January 2014, but lobbying efforts by the community to get a passage built to allow year-round shipment of goods and a lower cost of living for those in Tuktoyaktuk began in the 1960s. The new extension to the MacKenzie Valley Highway will replace the annual construction of the 187-kilometer winter road required to get shipments in and out of the town. Until last week, when the four-month winter ice road wasn't in service, the only way into Tuktoyaktuk was by plane. The cost of food in the community was more than double that of places like Edmonton, and rising at a rate of up to 6% per year, according to a 2013 research study done by Dennis Bevington, federal Member of Parliament for the Western Arctic area.