Ice Roads

Ice road near Salekhard, Russia.

Ice road near Salekhard, Russia.

Engineering is all about meeting the needs of society using the resources that are available. I recently heard of one very interesting example of a transportation system that was designed for a society with very specific resources and challenges – Siberian “ice roads.”

My father recently visited Salekhard, a town near the Arctic Circle in Siberia. Salekhard’s transportation system faces unique challenges due to its remoteness and its long, cold winters. Although roads made of typical paving materials are used within the town itself, it is not feasible to construct and maintain roads to the many remote villages that surround it. The solution: “зимники,” (pronounced “ZEEM-neek”) or “ice roads.”

Siberian “ice roads” are simply paths cutting through the snow and ice of the Siberian tundra that allow cars and trucks to drive through an area that would otherwise be impassible by automobiles. Although they are somewhat (but only slightly) maintained, these “roads” are by no means a walk in the park. They are extremely rough on a vehicle’s suspension, and the route is very poorly defined. In fact, it is advised that drivers only travel on an ice road at night, when their vehicle’s headlights cast shadows over the uneven road surface, helping them to stay on the actual road and not drift off on to the unmaintained tundra that surrounds it. Unfortunately, if a vehicle does drift off the road or break down in another way, the traveler(s) must wait in the subzero temperatures until a vehicle capable of assisting them happens to pass by. Due to remoteness of the area, this could be on the order of several hours.

“Ice roads” are not unique to Siberia. Many northern countries, including Canada, Estonia, the Scandinavian countries, and even the US, have their own ice roads. However, the terminology most often used by English speakers differs slightly from that used by Russians. While the “ice roads” of Siberia do include some river crossings, such as the road crossing the Ob River near Salekhard, they are primarily used to cross land (tundra). In common English usage, the term “winter road” is used to describe this type of path, while “ice road” specifically refers to a road built on a body of water that is frozen-over, such as a lake or river.

This water-crossing type of ice road owes its development largely to Canada’s Northwest Territories, where the landscape is dotted with many lakes of a variety of sizes. In the 1930’s, thriving mining operations in this remote northern region led truckers to create roads across frozen lakes to shorten the transport time of goods to and from these mining towns. This type of road soon gained traction (despite the ice) both in northern Canada and other arctic and subarctic regions of the world.

Although ice roads over water are inherently dangerous, they are fairly well understood and maintained, making them reasonably safe for the experienced ice road truck driver. Various rules designed to prevent road failure are in place on such routes. While the specifics of these rules differ from place to place, they share many common features. For example, on many roads, driving is only allowed during that day. Perhaps the most important of these rules limit the speed at which truckers may drive. Although one might that think these speed limits are in place to ensure proper traction between trucks’ tires and road-ice, they are actually intended to prevent the buildup of a pressure wave in the lake water that could damage the road.

One of the most famous ice roads, the “Road of Life” to Leningrad, provided that city a vital link to unoccupied Russian territory during the Siege of Leningrad by Nazi forces during WWII. This road across Lake Ladoga was used to transport food, medicine, and munitions into the city, and women, children, and the elderly out of it. This makeshift supply route served as the city’s lifeblood for the several year siege, being reconstructed by the determined Soviets each winter. Eventually, even rail-road tracks were laid on the ice in order to allow trains to cross the frozen lake.

The very existence of ice rods can teach the transportation engineer several very important lessons. Ice roads demonstrate the necessity of transportation for even the most inaccessible of locations. They also show mankind’s determination and willingness to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles in order to obtain this vital asset. Ice roads should challenge transportation engineers to produce better solutions by demonstrating that even the most challenging transportation problems can be overcome with determination and ingenuity.


3,006 thoughts on “Ice Roads

  1. acm sheets


    In the world of sign-making, choosing the right materials can make a significant difference in the overall quality, durability, and visual impact of the final product. One material that has gained immense popularity among sign makers is aluminium composite panels. These versatile panels offer a plethora of advantages, making them a top choice for sign creators looking to push the boundaries of their craft. In this article, we explore the various applications, benefits, and design possibilities of aluminium composite panels, shedding light on how they can revolutionize the signage industry.

    1. Unleashing Design Freedom:

    Highlight the creative possibilities offered by aluminium composite panels.

    2. Durability for Long-lasting Impact:

    Emphasize the durability and longevity of aluminium composite panels.

    3. Enhancing Visual Appeal:

    Explore the visual advantages of aluminium composite panels.

    4. Easy Installation and Maintenance:

    Address the ease of installation and low maintenance requirements associated with aluminium composite panels.

    5. Applications Across Industries:

    Illustrate the wide range of industries that can benefit from aluminium composite panels.

    6. Sustainability and Eco-Friendliness:

    Discuss the eco-friendly attributes of aluminium composite panels.

  2. Discover the art of homemade pickle making! This short and informative article delves into the world of pickling, providing you with valuable insights and tips on creating your very own delicious and flavorful homemade pickles. From understanding the basics of pickling to exploring different techniques and flavor variations, this article will inspire you to embark on a culinary adventure in your own kitchen. Learn how to preserve your favorite fruits and vegetables, experiment with different spices and brines, and savor the satisfaction of homemade pickles. Unleash your creativity and taste the difference of homemade goodness!

  3. Discover the innovative world of iceriver. Explore our range of cutting-edge products, including the iceriver ks1, iceriver ks2, and iceriver ks3. Our state-of-the-art iceriver kaspa miner is also available, catering to all your mining needs. With IceRiver, experience superior performance, reliability, and efficiency. Unleash the power of advanced technology with our exceptional solutions. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, our products are designed to meet your requirements and exceed expectations. Stay ahead of the curve and revolutionize your mining operations with IceRiver. Visit our website now to explore our products and embark on a journey of technological excellence.

  4. Experience the elegance and grace of Shahtaj Qaiser, featuring a stunning party dress collection that harmoniously fuses traditional and modern styles. With a vast range of party dresses available online in Pakistan, we promise to make you feel outstanding and pleasing in your favorite dress.

  5. We are FinestGears. Buy gear steroid ONLINE. Your transformation is our passion. we’re anabolic nutritional supplement specialists here at your service. Steroids for sale.

  6. We are FinestGears. Buy KW ONLINE. Your transformation is our passion. we’re anabolic nutritional supplement specialists here at your service. Steroids for sale.

  7. The many duties relating to flight operations, customer service, sales and marketing, reservations, ticketing, baggage handling, and other administrative responsibilities are handled by the Aegean Airlines Greece Office It is manned by a group of experts who manage many parts of the airline’s operations, guaranteeing efficient and seamless services for customers.

  8. บาคาร่าเว็บตรง Waiwai555 สมัคบาคาร่าเว็บตรง ฟรี ไม่มีขั้นต่ำ เล่นง่าย ทำเงินไว เว็บตรงบาคาร่าไม่ผ่านเอเย่นต์ บาคาร่า555 เกมยอดฮิต เยอะที่สุด.

  9. SEO specialist in Kerala
    Farhan Srambiyan, an accomplished SEO specialist in Kerala, India, is widely regarded as one of the top experts in his field. He has a wealth of experience and a demonstrated ability to provide exceptional results, positioning himself as a trusted figure in search engine optimisation. Farhan has assisted countless companies in Kerala and beyond achieve higher search engine rankings, increased website traffic, and better online visibility. His advanced knowledge of the latest SEO techniques and algorithms makes him a valuable resource for any business looking to enhance its online presence.

  10. การ สมัครบาคาร่าเว็บตรง แถมยังฟรี โบนัส นั้นไม่ใช่เรื่องที่ยากเย็นหลายขั้นตอนอย่างที่หลาย ๆ คนคิด ซึ่งผู้ใดที่ต้องการเข้าร่วมเป็นสมาชิกบน เว็บตรงบาคาร่า ของเรา ก็สามารถทำการลงทะเบียน บาคาร่าเว็บตรง ได้ด้วยตัวของท่านเอง โดยใช้เวลาเพียงไม่กี่วินาทีเท่านั้น.

  11. เว็บสล็อตแตกง่าย เว็บสล็อตแท้ สล็อตออนไลน์ เว็บตรงยอดนิยม มีครบทั้ง เกมสล็อตpg เกมคาสิโนออนไลน์ ทุกค่ายดัง สมัครฟรีโบนัสไม่อั้น.

  12. ทางเข้าเล่น เว็บสล็อตแท้ แจกเครดิตฟรี ที่ Milo555 ของเราเป็น สล็อตออนไลน์ ที่มาแรงที่สุดในขณะนี้ ด้วยการบริการยอดเยี่ยมระดับพรีเมี่ยม เป็นที่ต้องตาต้องใจของแฟน เกมออนไลน์ ได้เงินจริง ที่ต้องการเดิมพันในราคาที่ยุติธรรมและเป็นม.

  13. สล็อตเว็บตรง มาแรง ล่าสุด soju888 สมัครง่าย ไม่ผ่านเอเย่นต์ รับเครดิตฟรี โบนัสเยอะ เล่นได้ทุกค่ายดัง เกมสล็อตแตกไว จัดหนัก ฝากถอนเร็ว ไม่มีขั้นต่ำ.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *