DOT employs innovation and technology to improve ice road construction

News Releases

YELLOWKNIFE (January 14, 2016) – In an effort to continuously improve safety and increase the efficiency of ice road construction in the Northwest Territories, the Department of Transportation (DOT) hosted an ice profiling workshop in Yellowknife on January 11 and 12. 

Participants were introduced to recent advances in Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) technology used to measure ice thickness when constructing ice roads.  The workshop included a one day session of technical training and another spent in the field doing hands-on group exercises.

“The safety of the public, our staff, and our contractors are the top priority at DOT,” said Minister of Transportation Wally Schumann. “At the same time, we are engaging recent technical innovations to adapt our construction methods to better respond to the effects of climate change. We will continue to work with the best technologies available, to allow us to provide reliable ice roads and crossings in the NWT, as part of Embracing Innovation, one of the three strategic priorities identified in Connecting Us, our 25-year Transportation Strategy.”

The training event was an opportunity for representatives from Sensors and Software Inc., a world leader based in Mississauga, Ontario, to share their knowledge with 16 DOT employees, alongside three ice road construction contractors: RTL, Norex, and Tłįchǫ Road Constructors.

The public winter road system is critical for delivering fuel and supplies to communities not connected to the all-weather highway system and supporting economic development in the NWT by providing improved access to natural resources. 

The Department of Transportation will continue to embrace innovation to achieve the highest standards of ice safety and deliver a critical service needed by residents and businesses across the Northwest Territories.

Media Inquiries:

Nick Hurst
Department of Transportation
Government of the Northwest Territories