NWT says part of Dempster Highway will close on Friday evening

The Dempster Highway heading to Tsiigehtchic
The Dempster Highway heading to Tsiigehtchic. Andrew Goodwin/Cabin Radio

The NWT government says a section of Highway 8, the Dempster Highway connecting the Yukon and NWT, will close to all traffic as of 5pm on Friday.

Though the Dempster Highway closing is an annual event, the NWT government said the closure this time was also related to travel orders from the NWT’s chief public health officer, Dr Kami Kandola, designed to slow the spread of Covid-19.

Under these orders, there has been a travel ban affecting most non-residents of the NWT since late March. Border closures are expected to last for at least several more months.

The Dempster Highway closure will be from kilometres one to 14, the NWT government said. The highway will be open only to emergency and enforcement vehicles.



The NWT government gave residents six hours’ notice to complete any needed travel via the highway before Friday’s closure takes place.

The plan is to re-open the highway once ferries begin operating for the season, the territory said.

In the meantime, the government said people must use Highway 1 to enter and leave the territory by road. Entry is open only to residents, essential workers, and those delivering goods, and strict self-isolation measures are in place.