Dempster Highway

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The Dempster Highway, often referred to as Yukon Highway 5 and the Northwest Territories Highway 8, is a Canadian highway, which starts about 40 km east of Dawson City in the Yukon on the Klondike Highway, and 736 km later in Inuvik, Northwest Territories ends.

The extension as a year round paved road still 194 km further north to the village of Tuktoyaktuk in the Canadian North Coast was started in January 2014 and scheduled to open in 2018. So far, this section is called the Tuktoyaktuk Winter Road, and is a so-called ice road only passable in winter. The highway runs there on the frozen Mackenzie River Delta. He crosses the Peel River and the Mackenzie River with a combination of seasonal ferry service and ice bridges.


Large parts of the highway follow an old Hundeschlittenweg. The highway is named after Inspector William John Duncan Dempster of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, a young police officer who often used the road between Dawson City and Fort McPherson, Northwest Territories with his sled dogs. Dempster and two other officers were commissioned in March 1911, a rescue mission and should inspector Francis Joseph Fitzgerald and three of his men find because they were never arrived at its scheduled winter patrol in Dawson City. Dempster and his colleagues found the beginning of February deceased finally, on March 21, 1911 just a few miles from Fort McPherson, Northwest Territories and buried it on 28 March 1911.

1958 precipitated the Canadian government 's decision to build a 671 km long road through the Arctic wilderness from Dawson City to Inuvik. There large oil and gas deposits have been found in the Mackenzie Delta, and the town of Inuvik was currently under construction.

On August 17, 1959, the Canadian government had announced that it had found oil reserves in the Eagle Plains, and awarded concessions to the oil industry to explore even larger deposits in the region. It has been noted that a highway above the Arctic Circle was necessary to transport material and equipment to the oil deposits can. Consequently, the building was opened in January 1959 in Dawson City in attack. The high cost of construction and discussions between the Canadian government and that of the Yukon Territory ensured that the building until 1961 was progressing very slowly. At this time the building was set. Only 115 km of road were built until then. The highway was known as Highway 11 until 1978.

Until 1968, no progress has been made ​​, to huge oil and gas reserves in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, were found. This led to an increase race between Canada and the United States. The Canadian government feared that the U.S. could develop the oil field with no consideration for their neighbors. The government wanted to preserve Canadian sovereignty off the coast of the Yukon in the Beaufort Sea.


The Dempster Highway, the only Canadian weather road north of the Arctic Circle, was officially opened in Flat Creek, Yukon on 18 August 1979. The road was a two-lane, weatherproof gravel road which. Covering a distance of 671 km from the Klondike Highway to Dawson City to Fort McPherson and Tsiigehtchic The first troop of the Canadian military genius built the two main bridges over the Ogilvie River and the Eagle River.