Ferries back in service
INUVIK (Jun 04/99) - Both the Peel River and Arctic Red River ferries have begun operating for the summer season.
According to Gurdev Jagpal, regional superintendent for the Department of Transportation, they're back in service a day or two earlier than in previous years.
"One is already running for public service. The other we put in water today (June 1)," he said. "It's maybe a day or two earlier, not much."
Jagpal said the Peel River ferry was open to traffic on Sunday, May 30, and already there has been a stream of traffic.
"The Louis Cardinal (Arctic Red) is in water today (June 1). We are making some trial runs...and most probably it will be in service by tomorrow (June 2)," Jagpal said.
Representatives from the tourism and commercial industries couldn't be more pleased to see the roads are open again.
"They (tourists) have already started coming in," said John Cournoyea, regional manager of Parks and Tourism. Cournoyea said the man who runs the campground on this side of the Peel River already has tourists staying there. He added it isn't unusual for tourists to start arriving this early in the season.
"But the numbers are small in the beginning," he said. "It doesn't start until later on in June or July. It will start picking up."
Brian Gladys, Northern Store manager, said shoppers will definitely notice a difference in the price of perishable items such as milk, meat and eggs.
"We can go back to our regular prices," he said.
Gladys added the store had been getting its dry goods by parcel post, but it has already cancelled that in anticipation of the ferries starting up again this week.
Aside from putting the ferries back in service, Jagpal said the department is also increasing its efforts to control the dust on the Dempster Highway this year, by increasing its applications of calcium chloride by three times.
"Keeps the dust down and people can travel safely," he said.