First Ice Road Opened

Photo: Postimees/Scanpix
2/6/2012 9:57 AM

Weeklong frigid temperatures have caused fast ice to form along the western coast and the first 3.2 kilometer ice road between the town of Haapsalu and the Noarootsi peninsula has been opened.

The road, the shortest of the six national ice roads potentially opened each winter, cuts the travel time between the town of 10,000 and the small rural town of Pürksi to 10 minutes rather than 40.

"The ice quality is super," said maintenance crew member Raivo Õiglas. "It is so strong. We haven't had such strong ice in the last five years, but there are many cracks."

Still, even with the double-digit negative temperatures in the forecast in the last week of January, officials have expressed doubt whether the other roads to the islands would open this year, as sea temperatures have been much warmer than usual.

Kristopher Rikken

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