Ice crossing over Liard River in N.W.T. opens with weight restrictions

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A file photo of the ice crossing at the Liard River. Fort Simpson is only accessible by an ice road in the winter and a ferry service in the summer.  (Anna Desmarais/CBC - image credit)
A file photo of the ice crossing at the Liard River. Fort Simpson is only accessible by an ice road in the winter and a ferry service in the summer. (Anna Desmarais/CBC - image credit)

The Liard River crossing to Fort Simpson, N.W.T. officially opened on Saturday, according to the village's mayor.

The territory's infrastructure department posted the opening on its website, noting that the crossing is only open to vehicles weighing under 5,000 kilograms.

The opening comes a week behind the average opening date of Nov. 28.

Fort Simpson Mayor Sean Whelly said the road is a little bumpy, but it isn't the worst he's seen. The crossing was open to the public as of 10 a.m. Saturday. It connects Fort Simpson to the portion of Highway 1 which leads to other communities in the Dehcho, as well as the South Slave and North Slave regions.

When the crossing is not open, Fort Simpson is only accessible to the highway by ferry when it is warm enough, and by air during the river's freeze-up and break-up.

The Peel River Crossing to Tsiigehtchic is also open, according to a tweet by the department on Dec. 1.

The department said the Arctic Red River/Mackenzie River crossing and the N'Dulee Crossing near Wrigley were still closed as of Sunday. The Arctic Red River crossing is opening later than usual because of "unfavourable weather conditions," said the department, while the N'Dulee Crossing's average opening date isn't until Dec. 15.

Most winter and ice roads don't open later in December and January.

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