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The road ahead

Chris Puglia
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Oct 21/02) - Ever had a road trip ruined by snowed out roads, construction or other delays you wish you could have found out before leaving home?

If the answer is yes you are likely not alone.

Finding out what is on the road ahead can sometimes be a challenge.

But, technology is giving travellers a new opportunity to better prepare for future road trips.

The GNWT transportation web site provides users with a detailed list of road conditions right across the territories.

Links to different stretches of highway give detailed information on when ice crossings are open and closed and even provide a history showing average earliest and latest opening and closing dates for crossings.

Users can find ferry information, road conditions and a NWT road map on the site, all of which can save drivers the hassle of running into delays on the road.

"Our web site gets a lot of hits through the course of a month," said Bob Kelly, communications officer for the GNWT Department of Transportation.

Kelly said they are trying to develop ways to encourage people to use the site.

"Up here a fair number of people have access to the Internet and the web site it is a great source," he said.

Not only is the site vital to travellers, it has tremendous commercial applications, notes Kelly.

"Commercial carriers, they can sit in Edmonton and look on the internet and know if the ferry is closed," said Kelly.

The site also has a ferry cam that allows visitors to see in real time the weather conditions at the three NWT ferry crossings.

In the future the site may be linked with the Weather Channel, which would provide other added travel benefits.

The NWT transportation web site is located at www.gov.nt.ca/transportation.

For those travelling outside the NWT, road conditions are available through individual provincial and territorial transportation web sites.

For easy access one web site has linked all these sites from one central page at www.beaverbear.com/canrdcon.