Two years ago I had to explain to people what an ice road was, and they always remained a little incredulous that a thoroughfare constructed out of the frozen surface of a body of water was suitable for large transport trucks. Then there was a series on the Discovery channel about ice roads, and now I have to wonder if some southern Americans don't think that all roads in Canada are made on ice. The reality TV show about truckers driving on ice roads was very popular, but locals say that they didn't like the way the occupation was depicted as an extreme risk-taking activity, and might not consent to another season.
The ice road is wider than it strictly needs to be for the traffic it gets, but we speculated that clearing that width of insulating snow from the ice ensures a better base of deep ice to support the road. Of course no salt or sand is used on the road, and there are no painted lines. Vehicle handling was no different than good winter conditions on any road, with the benefit that there are no hills or sharp corners.
I like this sign because it graphically explains exactly what an ice road is. I'm still not sure you would really understand it if you didn't know, though. Try showing the picture to someone and see if they say it's a bridge or a ferry.
If you like northern scenery, and don't regularly read Dave's blog, you should have a look at his norther n lights pictures. He regularly bids Alaska night trips, and selects some beautful photos for us to see.