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Dempster Highway Traffic, NWT

Dempster Highway Traffic, NWT

What is happening?

  • This graph shows traffic volume just north of the NWT/YT border. There is similar information available for the southern portion of the Dempster Hwy in the Yukon.
  • Over the last decade the average number of vehicles per day has been about 50.
  • There is a strong seasonal pattern with traffic rising to about 100 vehicles per day during the summer tourist season (June, July and August).

Why is it happening?

  • The Dempster Highway provides the only road link from southern Canada to communities in the Mackenzie River delta such as Fort McPherson and Inuvik. Oil and gas exploration work in the area as well as tourism contribute to the volume of vehicle traffic.

Why is it important?

  • The Dempster Highway travels across the northern Yukon and through many different wildlife habitats. Increased traffic might lead to disruptions in animal movements and increased mortality from road-kills. Because the road crosses the winter range of the Porcupine Caribou Herd, an increase in winter traffic would be a concern for management and protection of caribou.

Technical Notes

  • The data reported here are recorded at Km 34, Dempster Highway, N.W.T. (Counter ID# 8-34) and collected by the Department of Transportation, GNWT.
  • The summer peak in 2008 was reported as 250 and this may be a sampling error.

Text revised: March 5, 2012      Data added: March 5, 2012