Plan underway to supply Churchill with ice road as rail remains knocked out
The Canadian Press
Published Friday, October 20, 2017 1:40PM EDT
WINNIPEG -- Plans are underway to supply Churchill, Man., through an ice road as the rail link that normally provides a lifeline to the community remains out of commission.
Mark Kohaykewych, president of Polar Industries, says that the company has partnered with the Fox Lake Cree Nation and Churchill-based Remote Area Services to carve out an ice road along the 300 kilometres of wilderness between the end of the working rail line and Churchill.
He says the partners are hoping to get some financial support from the provincial government, but for now plan to operate on their own shoestring budget.
Kohaykewych says they plan to haul construction equipment and supplies, fuel, as well as potentially food and necessities for stores in the town.
He says the route would take about 30 hours to run, but that time could be cut by as much as half if the company has enough resources to run dedicated teams to maintain the route.
Climate change has made some ice routes more difficult to maintain in recent years, but Kohaykewych says they'll just adjust maintenance and scheduling to changing conditions to make sure the route remains open.