It's going to be another busy year for traffic on the winter road to the Northwest Territories' diamond mines, according to the joint venture that builds and maintains the road for the mines. 

"If we reach the numbers that I'm expecting — and its still a bit early because it will vary between now and the start of the winter road — it could end up being the second busiest year ever on the road," said Ron Near, director of winter road operations.

Near says supplies to build the Gahcho Kue diamond mine are contributing to the extra traffic, as well as smaller projects at Ekati and Diavik.

"Each mine will fly in a certain amount of product throughout the year, but the main mine resupply for all three partners happens on the winter road." 

Near says as many as 9,000 northbound truck loads will travel to the mines, carrying everything from kitchen supplies to large pieces of machinery. 

He says as long as he has enough time to plan for the number of loads, operations should go smoothly. But he says extra traffic will be noticeable on the Ingraham Trail outside Yellowknife.