1 How Do They Create an Ice Crossing Between the Towns of Salekhard and Labytnangi (14 photos)

How Do They Create an Ice Crossing Between the Towns of Salekhard and Labytnangi (14 photos)


In winter, between the towns of Salekhard and Labytnangi situated on both sides of the Ob River, there is an ice road. The ice crossing is not just a path through the ice area, but an elaborated system with several lanes located at some distance from each other. The following discussion focuses about how this crossing is created.

Crossing – it is three lanes, each having a width of 30 meters and a length of 1700, the total length – 5300 meters. From Salekhard to Labytnangi – there is one lane, there are cars and lorries. Back – two lanes. City-neighbor – the city-hard worker, it receives loads by train and sends them to the district center. Therefore, there is a separate lane for “lorries”. Today, a third lane is closed, it is frozen. With the permission of the ice crossing administration, we drove past the sign and went to the place where the most interesting things are

The road on the river is as flat as asphalt, even as flat as an ice rink.

– The weather this year was great, – explains Ludmila Pavlovich, head of the area of ​​self-financing of “Yamal Avtodor” – ferries left early, ice is flat, and there are no hummocks, and they finished with the road construction in record time – in a week and a half. Typically, the preparation of the ice bridge takes three weeks. Two tractors work on the lane, each one has got a pump, and each pump is served by two road workers. They are in orange suits…

… and in boots, which, as a colleague said, can withstand up to minus seventy degrees.

I also wore boots. I am taking photos and barely have time to jump back when the water is coming.

At first the ice is cleaned of snow. On the road there are tractors with blades, and then there are augers which throw the snow off the road. And only then they start freezing.

For this purpose they dig holes and turn on pumps.

The purpose of freezing is not to thicken the ice but to smooth out the cracks. When the temperature falls, the ice breaks.

The hose lays freely on the ground, and the water floods all around.

The road must be covered evenly, so the hose is being moved.

When the area is flooded, the tractor moves on to the next hole.

They drive quickly!

The season of winter crossing begins when the thickness of the ice reaches 20 centimeters, people can walk safely over such a bridge. During this period, the road is frozen without heavy machinery, the water is pumped using hand pumps.

At 38 centimeters, it is time to open the crossing for cars up to three and a half tons.

Today, there is already half a meter beneath us, in the morning light trucks up to 10 tons were given the green light.

By the end of the season, the thickness of the ice bridge reaches one and a half meters, sometimes more. The maximum allowed weight is 30 tonnes.

Cracks are filled until March.

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One Response to “How Do They Create an Ice Crossing Between the Towns of Salekhard and Labytnangi (14 photos)”

  1. Douglas says:

    This is a lot of work. [I guess it would be costly to use an ice-surfacing machine....that are used for ice skating rinks.] Anyway, this method appears to work.

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