An exploration boom in the N.W.T.’s Sahtu region is taking its toll on some of the area’s winter roads.

The road between Wrigley and Tulita is temporarily closed for repairs. George Illiopoulos, who drives a pilot truck for Cornerstone Oil Field Services in Tulita, says the road is pretty chewed up.

"Once someone gets stuck on the hill and they spin out and chew the road up, it develops a hole," he said.

"And then the next truck has a bit of a problem there and they continue to spin their tires with chains in the same hole and before you know it these holes get so big that the trucks can't get through the hills."

Illiopoulos said the problem is not the road but the number of trucks using it.

"We're talking hundreds of trucks in 48 hours — day and night — and it does not give the road crew a chance to get in and maintain the road."

Illiopoulos said the winter road between Norman Wells and Tulita is not as bad because there aren't as many hills.