Closing of the Last Ice Road

TUKTOYAKTUK (April 10, 2017)—The Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk and the Government of the Northwest Territories will be celebrating the closing of the last ice road to Tuktoyaktuk on April 13, 2017. The ice road has long served as an important link for residents of Tuktoyaktuk, supporting intercommunity travel and the delivery of essential goods.

Public celebrations are planned in Tuktoyaktuk to honour the many individuals who worked tirelessly over the decades to keep the ice road open. The event will be held from 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM at Kitti Hall and will feature Inuvialuit drum dancing, a community feast, snow sculptures, outdoor snow village, polar dipping (dip your toe in the Arctic Ocean), and more.

The ITH will be Canada’s first road to the Arctic coast, connecting the country from coast-to-coast-to-coast and fulfilling a Canadian vision held for more than fifty years. The highway will support unique tourism opportunities for visitors to the Beaufort Delta.


“For decades, the Inuvik Tuktoyaktuk Ice Road has connected residents of Tuktoyaktuk to the all-season highway system and supported the delivery of essential goods for several decades. The Government of the Northwest Territories greatly appreciates the dedication of the many contractors who have built and maintained the road over the years. The new Inuvik Tuktoyaktuk Highway will connect Canada from coast to coast to coast, marking a critical step forward in the development of infrastructure in the Northwest Territories.”

- Wally Schumann, Minister of Infrastructure, Government of the Northwest Territories

“This is an end of an era for Tuktoyaktuk. We have had the ice road for over forty years. We look forward to the opening of the ITH with great anticipation but we will always remember and be grateful to the people who made the ice road happen year after year. We welcome everyone to come and celebrate with us on the 13th.”

- Darrel Nasogaluak, Mayor of the Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk

Quick Facts

  • The ice road to Tuktoyaktuk has been seasonally constructed for over 40 years
  • Building an all-season road has been a major priority for the territorial and federal governments since the 1960s
  • Construction of the ITH started in April 2013 and the opening is planned for November 15, 2017
  • Residents of Tuktoyaktuk will finally become connected to the public highway system, providing new social, political, and economic opportunities
  • The new highway will also allow for more cost-efficient year-round delivery of goods
  • The Government of Canada is contributing $200 million toward the ITH project, while the Government of the Northwest Territories is contributing $99 million. The total estimated cost of the project is $299 million


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Media contact

Greg Hanna
Communications Coordinator
Department of Infrastructure
Government of the Northwest Territories
867-767-9082 ext. 31046
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