Project for reinforcing ice roads


Status: Active

The NRC is working with partner agencies to address ice road effectiveness and safety in Northern communities.


  • Devise a way to reinforce Canada's ice roads to increase their operational lifespan and decrease the potential for mid-season closure


  • Design a workable method for reinforcing Canada's ice roads


  • Incorporate an appropriate membrane inside the ice to help resist the larger weight at the bottom of the ice cover. This should prevent an actual breakthrough, even if there is some fracturing in the ice.
  • Use both physical tests and numerical modelling to explore the implementation of such a material on actual ice roads
  • Address all aspects of the material, including availability, cost, adequate mechanical properties and ecological suitability
  • Consider the feasibility of deployment and retrieval to decide the best candidates for target locations



  • Reinforcing ice roads will increase the predictability of their load-bearing capacity and of their capability to sustain vehicle weight. This will reduce the thickness needed to make the ice roads safe to cross, an important consideration due to the impacts of climate change.

Project team


Contact us

Anne Barker
Arctic Program Leader
Telephone: 613-990-2511