780 AM | 96.1 FM | “Yours for Western Alaska”

Northwest Arctic Ice Road Will Not Open This Year

The edge of Kobuk Lake (Hotham Inlet) and the Baldwin Peninsula (Photo: Gabe Colombo, KNOM)

The ice road from Kotzebue to Noorvik and Kiana will not open this year.

That’s according to Charlie Gregg. He’s the land specialist with the Northwest Arctic Borough’s planning department. He says the ice has been too thin this year to make the road safe.

The road normally runs from Kotzebue on the Baldwin Peninsula, across Kobuk Lake and then up the Kobuk River Delta. But Gregg says ice has remained thin on the lake through the winter.

The borough usually tries to open the ice road in March. Gregg says there have been a few times when it looked like the ice might be thick enough to start working on the road. But the right conditions never quite materialized.

Arctic sea ice extent this year was the second lowest on record.

Image at top: The frozen edge of the Baldwin Peninsula and Kobuk Lake, across which the ice road usually runs (Photo: Gabe Colombo, KNOM).