Wednesday, March 08, 2006

CBC North - Warm weather may shorten life of N.W.T. ice road

CBC News
Truck drivers hauling supplies to three diamond mines in the Northwest Territories along a 500-kilometre ice road say they're frustrated by new restrictions and reduced speed limits.

Warm weather and deteriorating conditions have led to more restrictions on the number of trucks allowed on the road and the speed they are allowed to travel.

The drivers say they are facing delays of up to 24 hours as they wait to get clearance to travel the road. It is built each winter over frozen lakes and land portages.

The committee in charge of the road denies rumours it's going to close early but does say the life of the road will be limited if drivers don't stick to the speed limits.

Independent trucker Rob McAllister says it doesn't look good.

"The way it's going right now we can get two weeks out of it, I think, but if it turns cold, maybe the end of the month," says McAllister.

"It all depends on the drivers following the rules."

This season 9,000 truckloads of construction equipment, fuel and supplies are slated to be hauled on the road.

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