Ice road
Overview
 
Ice roads are frozen, human-made structures on the surface of bays, rivers, lakes, or seas in the far north. They link dry land, frozen waterways, portage
Portage
Portage or portaging refers to the practice of carrying watercraft or cargo over land to avoid river obstacles, or between two bodies of water. A place where this carrying occurs is also called a portage; a person doing the carrying is called a porter.The English word portage is derived from the...

s and winter road
Winter road
Winter roads are temporary highways carved out of snow and ice. They facilitate transportation to and from communities without permanent roads, and are commonly seen in isolated regions in Canada's north....

s, and are usually remade each winter. Ice roads allow temporary transport to areas with no permanent road access. Seen in isolated regions
The Bush
"The bush" is a term used for rural, undeveloped land or country areas in certain countries.-Australia:The term is iconic in Australia. In reference to the landscape, "bush" describes a wooded area, intermediate between a shrubland and a forest, generally of dry and nitrogen-poor soil, mostly...

 of northern Canada
Northern Canada
Northern Canada, colloquially the North, is the vast northernmost region of Canada variously defined by geography and politics. Politically, the term refers to the three territories of Canada: Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut...

, Alaska's Bush, northern Scandinavia
Scandinavia
Scandinavia is a cultural, historical and ethno-linguistic region in northern Europe that includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, characterized by their common ethno-cultural heritage and language. Modern Norway and Sweden proper are situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula,...

 and Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, they reduce the cost of materials that otherwise would ship as expensive air freight
Cargo airline
Cargo airlines are airlines dedicated to the transport of cargo. Some cargo airlines are divisions or subsidiaries of larger passenger airlines.-Logistics:...

, and they allow movement of large or heavy objects for which air freight is impractical.

Ice roads differ from winter roads in that they are built primarily across frozen waterways.
Encyclopedia
Ice roads are frozen, human-made structures on the surface of bays, rivers, lakes, or seas in the far north. They link dry land, frozen waterways, portage
Portage
Portage or portaging refers to the practice of carrying watercraft or cargo over land to avoid river obstacles, or between two bodies of water. A place where this carrying occurs is also called a portage; a person doing the carrying is called a porter.The English word portage is derived from the...

s and winter road
Winter road
Winter roads are temporary highways carved out of snow and ice. They facilitate transportation to and from communities without permanent roads, and are commonly seen in isolated regions in Canada's north....

s, and are usually remade each winter. Ice roads allow temporary transport to areas with no permanent road access. Seen in isolated regions
The Bush
"The bush" is a term used for rural, undeveloped land or country areas in certain countries.-Australia:The term is iconic in Australia. In reference to the landscape, "bush" describes a wooded area, intermediate between a shrubland and a forest, generally of dry and nitrogen-poor soil, mostly...

 of northern Canada
Northern Canada
Northern Canada, colloquially the North, is the vast northernmost region of Canada variously defined by geography and politics. Politically, the term refers to the three territories of Canada: Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut...

, Alaska's Bush, northern Scandinavia
Scandinavia
Scandinavia is a cultural, historical and ethno-linguistic region in northern Europe that includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, characterized by their common ethno-cultural heritage and language. Modern Norway and Sweden proper are situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula,...

 and Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, they reduce the cost of materials that otherwise would ship as expensive air freight
Cargo airline
Cargo airlines are airlines dedicated to the transport of cargo. Some cargo airlines are divisions or subsidiaries of larger passenger airlines.-Logistics:...

, and they allow movement of large or heavy objects for which air freight is impractical.

Ice roads differ from winter roads in that they are built primarily across frozen waterways. Ice roads may be winter substitutes for summer ferry
Ferry
A ferry is a form of transportation, usually a boat, but sometimes a ship, used to carry primarily passengers, and sometimes vehicles and cargo as well, across a body of water. Most ferries operate on regular, frequent, return services...

 service. Ferry service and an ice crossing may operate yearly at the same time for several weeks.

An alternative meaning of ice bridge
Ice bridge
An ice bridge is a frozen natural structure formed over seas, bays, rivers or lake surfaces. They facilitate migration of animals or people over a water body that was previously uncrossable by terrestrial animals, including humans. The most significant ice bridges are formed by glaciation, spanning...

 is a natural ice road or a structure formed during glaciation
Glacial period
A glacial period is an interval of time within an ice age that is marked by colder temperatures and glacier advances. Interglacials, on the other hand, are periods of warmer climate within an ice age...

. These were used in prehistoric
Prehistory
Prehistory is the span of time before recorded history. Prehistory can refer to the period of human existence before the availability of those written records with which recorded history begins. More broadly, it refers to all the time preceding human existence and the invention of writing...

 migration
Human migration
Human migration is physical movement by humans from one area to another, sometimes over long distances or in large groups. Historically this movement was nomadic, often causing significant conflict with the indigenous population and their displacement or cultural assimilation. Only a few nomadic...

.

Function

Because ice roads are flat, devoid of trees, rocks and other obstacles, they have a smooth driving surface. The roads from Yellowknife to Port Radium
Port Radium, Northwest Territories
Port Radium is a mining area on the eastern shore of Great Bear Lake, Northwest Territories, Canada. It included the settlement of Cameron Bay and the Eldorado Mine and Echo Bay Mine. The name Port Radium did not come into use until 1936 and at the time it was in reference to the region as a whole...

 by John Denison, a pioneer of ice roads in Northern Canada from the 1950s-1970s, were largely plowed across frozen lakes, with a short overland portage between the shoreline of one lake and the next. Similar to ice roads, ice runway
Runway
According to ICAO a runway is a "defined rectangular area on a land aerodrome prepared for the landing and take-off of aircraft." Runways may be a man-made surface or a natural surface .- Orientation and dimensions :Runways are named by a number between 01 and 36, which is generally one tenth...

s are common in the polar region
Polar region
Earth's polar regions are the areas of the globe surrounding the poles also known as frigid zones. The North Pole and South Pole being the centers, these regions are dominated by the polar ice caps, resting respectively on the Arctic Ocean and the continent of Antarctica...

s and include the blue ice runway
Blue ice runway
A blue ice runway is a runway constructed in Antarctic areas with no net annual snow accumulation, so that the resultant ice surface is capable of supporting aircraft landings using wheels instead of skis...

s such as Wilkins Runway
Wilkins Runway
Wilkins Runway is a single runway aerodrome operated by Australia, located on upper Peterson Glacier, Budd Coast, Wilkes Land on the continent of Antarctica, but 40 km southeast of the actual coast...

 in Antarctica or lake ice runways like Doris Lake Aerodrome
Doris Lake Aerodrome
Doris Lake Aerodrome is a privately owned ice runway located on Doris Lake, Nunavut, Canada. The aerodrome, which is open from January to April, services the related explorations for the gold deposits that were found in the Hope Bay greenstone belt....

 in the Arctic
Arctic
The Arctic is a region located at the northern-most part of the Earth. The Arctic consists of the Arctic Ocean and parts of Canada, Russia, Greenland, the United States, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. The Arctic region consists of a vast, ice-covered ocean, surrounded by treeless permafrost...

. Ice is used as an emergency landing
Emergency landing
An emergency landing is a landing made by an aircraft in response to a crisis which either interferes with the operation of the aircraft or involves sudden medical emergencies necessitating diversion to the nearest airport.-Types of emergency landings:...

 surface.

In general, these roads occur (often with human assistance) in areas where construction of year-round roads is expensive due to bog
Bog
A bog, quagmire or mire is a wetland that accumulates acidic peat, a deposit of dead plant material—often mosses or, in Arctic climates, lichens....

gy muskeg
Muskeg
Muskeg is an acidic soil type common in Arctic and boreal areas, although it is found in other northern climates as well. Muskeg is approximately synonymous with bogland but muskeg is the standard term in Western Canada and Alaska, while 'bog' is common elsewhere. The term is of Cree origin, maskek...

 land. When frozen in winter, these obstacles are easier to cross. Ice roads such as the stretch between Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories
Northwest Territories
The Northwest Territories is a federal territory of Canada.Located in northern Canada, the territory borders Canada's two other territories, Yukon to the west and Nunavut to the east, and three provinces: British Columbia to the southwest, and Alberta and Saskatchewan to the south...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 provide an almost level driving surface with few detours several months of the year.

Ice roads and winter roads are used where year-round roads are expensive or impractical. When frozen in winter, the waterway crossings can be built up with auger
Auger
An auger is a drilling device, or drill bit, that usually includes a rotating helical screw blade called a "flighting" to act as a screw conveyor to remove the drilled out material...

 holes to flood and thicken the crossing. Clearing snow (which insulates and warms) makes ice thicker, more quickly. These seasonal links last anywhere from a few weeks to several months before they become impassable.

After an ice road is plowed across a lake, the ice there gets much thicker than the surrounding lake ice, because the snow cover is swept off — exposing the road directly to subfreezing air (temperatures as low as -60 °F). When a lake thaws in the spring, the ice under the road is the last to melt, and in the summer, traces of the roads can still be seen from overhead in a bush plane, as bare strips remain on the lake floor where the ice blocked light and prevented plants and algae
Algae
Algae are a large and diverse group of simple, typically autotrophic organisms, ranging from unicellular to multicellular forms, such as the giant kelps that grow to 65 meters in length. They are photosynthetic like plants, and "simple" because their tissues are not organized into the many...

 from growing.

Driving

While easier to drive across in the winter than land, roads over water present a great danger to anyone using them. Speeds are typically limited to 15 mph (6.7 m/s) to prevent a truck
Truck
A truck or lorry is a motor vehicle designed to transport cargo. Trucks vary greatly in size, power, and configuration, with the smallest being mechanically similar to an automobile...

's weight from causing waves under the surface. These waves can damage the road, or dislodge the ice from the shoreline and create a hazard. Another hazard on large lakes is the pressure ridge, a break in the ice created by the expansion and contraction of the surface ice over time due to heat.

The roads are normally the domain of large trucks (e.g. tractor
Tractor unit
A tractor unit, prime mover , road tractor, or traction unit is a heavy-duty commercial vehicle within the large goods vehicle category, usually with a large displacement diesel engine, and several axles. The tractor unit serves as a method of moving trailers...

-trailer
Semi-trailer
A semi-trailer is a trailer without a front axle. A large proportion of its weight is supported by a road tractor, a detachable front axle assembly known as a dolly, or the tail of another trailer...

 units), although lighter vehicles, such as pickup truck
Pickup truck
A pickup truck is a light motor vehicle with an open-top rear cargo area .-Definition:...

s, are occasionally seen, as are snowmobile
Snowmobile
A snowmobile, also known in some places as a snowmachine, or sled,is a land vehicle for winter travel on snow. Designed to be operated on snow and ice, they require no road or trail. Design variations enable some machines to operate in deep snow or forests; most are used on open terrain, including...

s.

Use of ice as the main construction material allows unusual construction techniques: for example, to make a ramp to get the road over a step such as the shore of a lake, lake water is pumped out and mixed with snow to make slush
Slush
Slush can mean any of the following:* Slush — a slurry mixture of liquid and solid forms of water.* Slush — a pejorative and slang combination of the likewise derogatory terms slut and lush...

, which is formed into the shape of the ramp, which in the intense cold quickly freezes hard. To resurface a worn and damaged road surface, it is flooded with shallow water, which quickly freezes hard.

Antarctica

The South Pole Traverse (McMurdo-South Pole highway) is approximately 900 mi (1,448.4 km) long and links the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

' McMurdo Station
McMurdo Station
McMurdo Station is a U.S. Antarctic research center located on the southern tip of Ross Island, which is in the New Zealand-claimed Ross Dependency on the shore of McMurdo Sound in Antarctica. It is operated by the United States through the United States Antarctic Program, a branch of the National...

 on the coast to the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station. It was constructed by leveling snow and filling in crevasse
Crevasse
A crevasse is a deep crack in an ice sheet rhys glacier . Crevasses form as a result of the movement and resulting stress associated with the sheer stress generated when two semi-rigid pieces above a plastic substrate have different rates of movement...

s, but is not paved. There are flags to mark the route.

Canada

Some of the first ice roads in history were built in the 1930s in northern Canada, for use by caterpillar sleds pulling heavy loads called tractor trains for mines where loads were too heavy for transport by aircraft and the soil too boggy for standard roads in any other times other than winter. Winter roads and ice roads in Canada are found primarily in northern parts of some provinces, as well as the sparsely-populated northern territories
Provinces and territories of Canada
The provinces and territories of Canada combine to make up the world's second-largest country by area. There are ten provinces and three territories...

 of Yukon
Yukon
Yukon is the westernmost and smallest of Canada's three federal territories. It was named after the Yukon River. The word Yukon means "Great River" in Gwich’in....

, Northwest Territories and Nunavut
Nunavut
Nunavut is the largest and newest federal territory of Canada; it was separated officially from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1999, via the Nunavut Act and the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act, though the actual boundaries had been established in 1993...

. In Nunavut, while there are a number of permanent roads
Highways in Nunavut
Currently, an estimated total of 850 km of roads and highways are spread across Nunavut. Over the next decade the amount of roads in the territory is expected to increase rapidly as more communities are linked together, and a road link to Manitoba is at planning stage.Most vehicles in the...

 within the territory, the Tibbitt to Contwoyto Winter Road
Tibbitt to Contwoyto Winter Road
Tibbitt to Contwoyto Winter Road is an annual ice road first built in 1982 to service mines and exploration activities in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut in Northern Canada. Between long, the road is said to be the world's longest heavy haul ice road and operates for eight to ten weeks...

, linking Nunavut to Tibbitt Lake
Tibbitt Lake
Tibbitt Lake is a lake in the Canadian Northwest Territories.Located 69.2 kilometres east of Yellowknife, the lake marks the northern terminus of the Ingraham Trail...

 in the Northwest Territories, forms the territory's only road access to the rest of North America's road network.

Winter roads in the Northwest Territories, most notably the Tuktoyaktuk Winter Road
Tuktoyaktuk Winter Road
The Tuktoyaktuk Winter Road is an ice road on frozen Mackenzie River delta channels and the frozen Arctic Ocean between the Northwest Territories communities of Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk, in Canada. It exists in the winter only...

, link various isolated communities and mineral exploration sites to the territory's highway network.

Winter roads may also be found in the sparsely populated northernmost regions of some Canadian provinces. Most communities north of Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

's Albany River
Albany River
The Albany River is a river in Northern Ontario, Canada, which flows northeast from Lake St. Joseph in Northwestern Ontario and empties into James Bay. It is long to the head of the Cat River, tying it with the Severn River for the title of longest river in Ontario...

 are served by winter roads. Most of these roads in Northwestern Ontario
Northwestern Ontario
Northwestern Ontario is the region within the Canadian province of Ontario which lies north and west of Lake Superior, and west of Hudson Bay and James Bay. It includes most of subarctic Ontario. Its western boundary is the Canadian province of Manitoba, which disputed Ontario's claim to the...

 are linked to the Northern Ontario Resource Trail
Northern Ontario Resource Trail
The Northern Ontario Resource Trail is a mainly gravel road in the Canadian province of Ontario, which travels north from Pickle Lake to the northern shore of Windigo Lake...

, a permanent gravel road which extends northerly from the end of Highway 599 at Pickle Lake
Pickle Lake, Ontario
Pickle Lake is a township in the Canadian province of Ontario, and is the most northerly community in the province that has year-round access by road. Located north of Thunder Bay, highway access is via Highway 599, the only access road to the town from the south. More northerly communities rely...

, the northernmost community in the province with year-round highway access. In Northeastern Ontario
Northeastern Ontario
Northeastern Ontario is the region within the Canadian province of Ontario which lies north and east of Lakes Superior and Huron.Northeastern Ontario consists of the districts of Algoma, Sudbury, Cochrane, Timiskaming, Nipissing and Manitoulin; and the single-tier municipality of Greater...

, some communities are linked to Moosonee
Moosonee, Ontario
Moosonee is a town in northern Ontario, Canada, on the Moose River approximately south of James Bay. It is considered as "the Gateway to the Arctic" and has Ontario's only saltwater port...

, a town that has rail access but no road access to the south.

Canada's ice roads were prominently featured in the History Channel show Ice Road Truckers
Ice Road Truckers
Ice Road Truckers is a documentary-style reality television series that premiered on History on June 17, 2007.-History:In 2000, History aired a 46-minute episode titled "Ice Road Truckers" as part of the Suicide Missions series...

.

Estonia

The Estonia
Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

n Road Administration is responsible for managing ice roads in winter. An ice road may be opened when ice thickness is at least 22 cm (8.7 in) along the entire route. An ice road to Piirissaar
Piirissaar
Piirissaar is an Estonian island located in Lake Peipus. It belongs to Tartu County as the Piirissaare Parish.Piirissar is the largest island in Lake Peipus with a size of 7.8 km². It is located c. 15 km from the mouth of the Emajõgi river. Piirissaar is located c...

 Island in Lake Peipus
Lake Peipus
Lake Peipus, ) is the biggest transboundary lake in Europe on the border between Estonia and Russia.The lake is the fifth largest in Europe after Lake Ladoga and Lake Onega in Russia north of St...

 is opened in most years, while colder winters permit opening official ice roads on the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

 between mainland Estonia and the islands of Hiiumaa
Hiiumaa
Hiiumaa is the second largest island belonging to Estonia. It is located in the Baltic Sea, north of the island of Saaremaa, a part of the West Estonian archipelago. Its largest town is Kärdla.-Name:...

, Vormsi
Vormsi
Estonia's fourth largest island, Vormsi , is located between Hiiumaa and the mainland with a total area of 93 square kilometers. It is part of a rural municipality Vormsi Parish. From mainland, Vormsi is separated by a narrow strait – Voosi Kurk, and from Hiiumaa by a bit wider Hari...

, Muhu
Muhu
Muhu , is an island in the Baltic Sea. With an area of 198 km² it is the third largest island belonging to Estonia, after Saaremaa and Hiiumaa....

 and Kihnu
Kihnu
Kihnu is an island in the Baltic Sea. With an area of 16,4 km² it is the largest island in the Gulf of Riga and the seventh largest island of Estonia. The length of the island is 7 km and width 3.3 km, the highest point is at 8.9 m above sea level.The island belongs to the Pärnu...

, between the islands of Saaremaa
Saaremaa
Saaremaa is the largest island in Estonia, measuring 2,673 km². The main island of Saare County, it is located in the Baltic Sea, south of Hiiumaa island, and belongs to the West Estonian Archipelago...

 and Hiiumaa and also between Haapsalu
Haapsalu
Haapsalu is a seaside resort town located on the west coast of Estonia. It's the administrative centre of Lääne County and has a population of 11,618 ....

 and Noarootsi. As of 2011, the longest ice road in Europe is the 26.5 km route between Rohuküla
Rohuküla
Rohuküla is a village in Ridala Parish, Lääne County, in western Estonia....

 on the continent and Heltermaa
Heltermaa
Heltermaa is a village in Pühalepa Parish, Hiiu County in northwestern Estonia....

 in Hiiumaa
Hiiumaa
Hiiumaa is the second largest island belonging to Estonia. It is located in the Baltic Sea, north of the island of Saaremaa, a part of the West Estonian archipelago. Its largest town is Kärdla.-Name:...

. The limitations for ice road traffic include:
  • Weight limit depending on conditions, mostly 2 t (2 LT) to 2.5 t (2.5 LT)
  • Vehicle
    Vehicle
    A vehicle is a device that is designed or used to transport people or cargo. Most often vehicles are manufactured, such as bicycles, cars, motorcycles, trains, ships, boats, and aircraft....

    s travelling in the same direction must be at least 250 m (820.2 ft) apart.
  • Recommended travelling speeds are under 25 km/h (15.5 mph) or between 40 kilometre per hour. It is advised to avoid the range of 25 kilometre per hour due to danger of creating resonance
    Resonance
    In physics, resonance is the tendency of a system to oscillate at a greater amplitude at some frequencies than at others. These are known as the system's resonant frequencies...

     in the ice layer (i.e. vehicle speed and water wave speed being the same or nearly, resulting in the propagation of flexural gravity waves (a big wave) under the ice that breaks the ice).
  • Seat belts must not be fastened due to danger of drowning if the ice breaks.
  • The vehicle must not be stopped.
  • Vehicles are allowed to enter the ice road in three minute intervals.
  • Ice roads may only be used in daylight.


Ice road lengths:
  • Virtsu
    Virtsu
    Virtsu is a small borough in Hanila Parish, Lääne County, Estonia. It lies on the Western coast of continental Estonia, and a location of the main port for traffic to and from Saaremaa, the largest island of Estonia. The corresponding port on Saaremaa's side is Kuivastu, located on the island of...

     - Kuivastu
    Kuivastu
    Kuivastu is a village in the eastern coast of the island of Muhu and a seat of the primary port of Saaremaa, the biggest island of Estonia. The corresponding port on the continental side is Virtsu. Muhu and Saaremaa are distinct islands, but are connected with the largest bridge in Estonia, the...

     (between the mainland and Muhu
    Muhu
    Muhu , is an island in the Baltic Sea. With an area of 198 km² it is the third largest island belonging to Estonia, after Saaremaa and Hiiumaa....

    ) - 9.0 km
  • Rohuküla
    Rohuküla
    Rohuküla is a village in Ridala Parish, Lääne County, in western Estonia....

     - Heltermaa
    Heltermaa
    Heltermaa is a village in Pühalepa Parish, Hiiu County in northwestern Estonia....

     (between the mainland and Hiiumaa
    Hiiumaa
    Hiiumaa is the second largest island belonging to Estonia. It is located in the Baltic Sea, north of the island of Saaremaa, a part of the West Estonian archipelago. Its largest town is Kärdla.-Name:...

    ) - 26.5 km
  • Rohuküla
    Rohuküla
    Rohuküla is a village in Ridala Parish, Lääne County, in western Estonia....

     - Sviby
    Sviby
    Sviby is a village in Vormsi Parish, Lääne County, in western Estonia....

     (between the mainland and Vormsi
    Vormsi
    Estonia's fourth largest island, Vormsi , is located between Hiiumaa and the mainland with a total area of 93 square kilometers. It is part of a rural municipality Vormsi Parish. From mainland, Vormsi is separated by a narrow strait – Voosi Kurk, and from Hiiumaa by a bit wider Hari...

    ) - 10.2 km
  • Tärkma
    Tärkma
    Tärkma is a village in Emmaste Parish, Hiiu County in northwestern Estonia....

     - Triigi
    Triigi
    Triigi is a village in Kõue Parish, Harju County in northern Estonia....

     (between Hiiumaa
    Hiiumaa
    Hiiumaa is the second largest island belonging to Estonia. It is located in the Baltic Sea, north of the island of Saaremaa, a part of the West Estonian archipelago. Its largest town is Kärdla.-Name:...

     and Saaremaa
    Saaremaa
    Saaremaa is the largest island in Estonia, measuring 2,673 km². The main island of Saare County, it is located in the Baltic Sea, south of Hiiumaa island, and belongs to the West Estonian Archipelago...

    ) - 14.5 km
  • Haapsalu
    Haapsalu
    Haapsalu is a seaside resort town located on the west coast of Estonia. It's the administrative centre of Lääne County and has a population of 11,618 ....

     - Noarootsi - 3.2 km
  • Lao
    Lao
    Lao or Laotian may refer to:* Something of, from, or related to Laos, a country in Southeast Asia* Lao people * The Lao language* Lao script, the writing system used to write the Lao language* Lao cuisine...

     - Kihnu
    Kihnu
    Kihnu is an island in the Baltic Sea. With an area of 16,4 km² it is the largest island in the Gulf of Riga and the seventh largest island of Estonia. The length of the island is 7 km and width 3.3 km, the highest point is at 8.9 m above sea level.The island belongs to the Pärnu...

     (between the mainland and Kihnu
    Kihnu
    Kihnu is an island in the Baltic Sea. With an area of 16,4 km² it is the largest island in the Gulf of Riga and the seventh largest island of Estonia. The length of the island is 7 km and width 3.3 km, the highest point is at 8.9 m above sea level.The island belongs to the Pärnu...

    ) - 13.0 km

Finland

The Finnish
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

 Road Administration maintains some ice roads during winters. These roads are considered as public roads when they are open. The longest 7 km (4.3 mi) road crosses Lake Pielinen
Pielinen
Pielinen is the fourth largest lake of Finland, with a drainage basin area of that is equally distributed between eastern Finland and Russia. The creation of the lake and its outlet is attributed to a post-glacial isostatic rebound, which resulted in uplift of the land...

. Ice must be at least 40 cm (15.7 in) thick before the road may be opened.
The following limits apply to ice roads:
  • Weight limit 3 t (3 LT) (may be raised if ice is thick enough)
  • Speed limit
    Speed limit
    Road speed limits are used in most countries to regulate the speed of road vehicles. Speed limits may define maximum , minimum or no speed limit and are normally indicated using a traffic sign...

     50 km/h (31.1 mph)
  • Minimum space of 50 m (164 ft) between cars traveling in the same direction
  • Overtaking is prohibited.
  • Stopping is prohibited.


On the severest winters ice roads have been privately constructed from the mainland of Finland to the Åland Islands
Åland Islands
The Åland Islands form an archipelago in the Baltic Sea. They are situated at the entrance to the Gulf of Bothnia and form an autonomous, demilitarised, monolingually Swedish-speaking region of Finland...

 and elsewhere in the Archipelago; using these is unlikely to be within any insurance policy.

Norway

Over the Tana river
Tana River (Norway)
Tana river , is a long river in Sápmi, in the Norwegian county of in Finnmark and the Lapland of Finland. The Sámi name means "Great River". The main tributaries of Tana are Anarjohka and Karasjohka....

 there are usually two ice roads from December to April. These roads have a weight limit of 2 t (2 LT), but few other limitations. There are numerous ice roads over frozen rivers elsewhere in Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

.

Sweden

In the northern part of Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 are many ice roads. Vägverket
Swedish Road Administration
The Swedish Road Administration was a government agency in Sweden. Its primary responsibility was to organise building and maintenance of the road network in Sweden.Its headquarters were located in Borlänge.-History:...

 maintains them, but some private ice roads also exist. Ice roads are usually put in when ice thickness exceeds 20 cm (7.9 in). The limitations for ice road traffic normally include:
  • A speed limit of 30 km/h (18.6 mph).
  • Prohibition against stopping or parking on the ice.
  • Minimum distance of 50 m (164 ft) between vehicles.
  • Restrictions for axle
    Axle
    An axle is a central shaft for a rotating wheel or gear. On wheeled vehicles, the axle may be fixed to the wheels, rotating with them, or fixed to its surroundings, with the wheels rotating around the axle. In the former case, bearings or bushings are provided at the mounting points where the axle...

    , bogie
    Bogie
    A bogie is a wheeled wagon or trolley. In mechanics terms, a bogie is a chassis or framework carrying wheels, attached to a vehicle. It can be fixed in place, as on a cargo truck, mounted on a swivel, as on a railway carriage/car or locomotive, or sprung as in the suspension of a caterpillar...

     and gross weight.


The longest ice road 15 km (9.3 mi) in Sweden is in the Luleå
Luleå
- Transportation :Local buses are run by .A passenger train service is available from Luleå Centralstation on Sweden's national SJ railway service northbound to Narvik on the Norwegian coast, or southbound to Stockholm. See Rail transport in Sweden....

 Archipelago
Archipelago
An archipelago , sometimes called an island group, is a chain or cluster of islands. The word archipelago is derived from the Greek ἄρχι- – arkhi- and πέλαγος – pélagos through the Italian arcipelago...

, Bothnian Bay
Bothnian Bay
The Bothnian Bay or Bay of Bothnia is the most northern part of the Gulf of Bothnia, the northern part of the Baltic Sea. Its northernmost point is situated in Töre...

 (in the northernmost part of the Gulf of Bothnia
Gulf of Bothnia
The Gulf of Bothnia is the northernmost arm of the Baltic Sea. It is situated between Finland's west coast and Sweden's east coast. In the south of the gulf lie the Åland Islands, between the Sea of Åland and the Archipelago Sea.-Name:...

). It starts in the port of Hindersöstallarna and connects the islands Hindersön, Stor-Brändön, and Långön
Langon
Langon is the name of several communes in France:* Langon, Gironde, in the Gironde département* Langon, Ille-et-Vilaine, in the Ille-et-Vilaine département* Langon, Loir-et-Cher, in the Loir-et-Cher département...

 with the mainland. The ice roads in Luleå are usually open from January to April and have a weight restriction of 2 tonne.

There are several ice roads across the lake Storsjön
Storsjön
Storsjön is the fifth largest lake in Sweden, with an area of 464 km² and a greatest depth of 74 m. It is located in the province of Jämtland in modern Jämtland County. From Storsjön runs the river Indalsälven and the lake contains the major island Frösön...

. The roads are usually open from January to April and have a weight restriction of 2 tonne.

The southernmost ice road in Sweden is on lake Hjälmaren
Hjälmaren
Lake Hjälmaren is Sweden's fourth largest lake. It is situated adjacent to Lake Mälaren through which it drains into the Baltic Sea, west of Stockholm...

, to Vinön
Vinon
Vinon is a commune in the Cher department in the Centre region of France.-Geography:An area of winegrowing and farming comprising the village and several hamlets situated in the valley of the Planche-Godard river, some northeast of Bourges, at the junction of the D10 with the D85 and D59 roads...

 island. Due to poor ice it is not open every season.

Russia

An example of an ice road was the Road of Life
Road of Life
The Road of Life was the ice road transport route across the frozen Lake Ladoga, which provided the only access to the besieged city of Leningrad in the winter months during 1941–1944 while the perimeter in the siege was maintained by the German Army Group North and the Finnish Defence Forces. ...

 across the frozen Lake Ladoga
Lake Ladoga
Lake Ladoga is a freshwater lake located in the Republic of Karelia and Leningrad Oblast in northwestern Russia, not far from Saint Petersburg. It is the largest lake in Europe, and the 14th largest lake by area in the world.-Geography:...

, which provided the only access to the besieged city
Siege of Leningrad
The Siege of Leningrad, also known as the Leningrad Blockade was a prolonged military operation resulting from the failure of the German Army Group North to capture Leningrad, now known as Saint Petersburg, in the Eastern Front theatre of World War II. It started on 8 September 1941, when the last...

 of Leningrad
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

 in the winter months during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

.

The Lena River has an ice road on its surface for hundreds of kilometres during the winter.

United States

There is an ice road in the United States on Lake Superior
Lake Superior
Lake Superior is the largest of the five traditionally-demarcated Great Lakes of North America. It is bounded to the north by the Canadian province of Ontario and the U.S. state of Minnesota, and to the south by the U.S. states of Wisconsin and Michigan. It is the largest freshwater lake in the...

, linking the city of Bayfield
Bayfield, Wisconsin
Bayfield is a city in Bayfield County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 611 at the 2000 census. The town is named after Henry Bayfield, a British Royal Topographic Engineer who explored the region in 1822-23....

, Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

 on the mainland with La Pointe
La Pointe, Wisconsin
La Pointe is a town in Ashland County in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. The town includes all of the Apostle Islands. There is also an unincorporated community named La Pointe on Madeline Island, the largest of the Apostle Islands . The population was 246 at the 2000 census...

, Wisconsin on Madeline Island
Madeline Island
Madeline Island is an island of the U.S. state of Wisconsin located in Lake Superior approximately two miles northeast of Bayfield, Wisconsin, and connected to that town seasonally by a 20 minute ferry ride or an ice road. It is the largest of the Apostle Islands, although it is not included...

. The road is about 2 mi (3.2 km) long and is used for several weeks in the year as replacement for the summer ferry service. When the ice is too thin to allow the construction of the road, but too thick to allow ferry service, a type of hovercraft
Hovercraft
A hovercraft is a craft capable of traveling over surfaces while supported by a cushion of slow moving, high-pressure air which is ejected against the surface below and contained within a "skirt." Although supported by air, a hovercraft is not considered an aircraft.Hovercraft are used throughout...

 is used to transport school children from the island to and from the mainland.

In Prudhoe Bay
Prudhoe Bay, Alaska
Prudhoe Bay or Sagavanirktok is a census-designated place located in North Slope Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. As of the 2010 census, the population of the CDP was 2,174 people; however, at any given time several thousand transient workers support the Prudhoe Bay oil field...

 in Alaska
Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

, there is an ice road over the Arctic Ocean
Arctic Ocean
The Arctic Ocean, located in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Arctic north polar region, is the smallest and shallowest of the world's five major oceanic divisions...

 about 25 mi (40.2 km) long and its maximum speed is 10 mph (4.5 m/s). It is used a few months during winter to serve an oil field
Oil field
An oil field is a region with an abundance of oil wells extracting petroleum from below ground. Because the oil reservoirs typically extend over a large area, possibly several hundred kilometres across, full exploitation entails multiple wells scattered across the area...

 site on the ocean. Another ice road in Alaska is the ice road from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to Point Thomson, Alaska. The ice road is 70 mi (112.7 km) long and is on the Beaufort Sea
Beaufort Sea
The Beaufort Sea is a marginal sea of the Arctic Ocean, located north of the Northwest Territories, the Yukon, and Alaska, west of Canada's Arctic islands. The sea is named after hydrographer Sir Francis Beaufort...

; this ice road is mainly used by semi-truck
Semi-trailer truck
A semi-trailer truck, also known as a semi, tractor-trailer, or articulated truck or articulated lorry, is an articulated vehicle consisting of a towing engine , and a semi-trailer A semi-trailer truck, also known as a semi, tractor-trailer, or (in the United Kingdom and Ireland) articulated truck...

s to deliver loads to serve the Point Thomson area.

There is a seasonal ice road constructed from the Kuparuk Oil Field
Kuparuk oil field
The Kuparuk oil field, located in North Slope Borough, Alaska, United States, is the second largest oil field in North America by area. It produces approximately of oil and is estimated to have of recoverable oil reserves. It is named for the Kuparuk River....

 to the Alpine oil field, which is roadless in the summer months. This road also connects to the village of Nuiqsut
Nuiqsut, Alaska
Nuiqsut is a city in North Slope Borough, Alaska, United States. At the 2000 census the population was 433.-Geography:Nuiqsut is located at ....

, on the banks of the Colville River
Colville River (Alaska)
The Colville River is a major river of the Arctic Ocean coast of Alaska in the United States, approximately 350 mi long. One of the northernmost major rivers in the North America, it drains a remote area of tundra on the north side of the Brooks Range entirely above the Arctic Circle...

. This road is roughly 30 mi (48.3 km) long and is used to resupply Alpine with critical supplies for operations as well as to transport drilling rigs.

Media References

The 2008 film Frozen River
Frozen River
Frozen River is a 2008 American drama film written and directed by Courtney Hunt. The screenplay focuses on two working-class women who smuggle illegal immigrants in the trunk of a car from Canada to the United States in order to make ends meet...

 tells the story of two women who get involved with trafficking illegal immigrants from Canada into the United States by driving them across the frozen St. Lawrence River in their car.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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