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James Bay winter road partially opens today

It is currently open to light vehicle traffic from Moosonee to Fort Albany
Winter road
Supplied photo

The James Bay Winter Road partially opens to light vehicle traffic today.

The 311-kilometre road connecting First Nation communities on the James Bay coast is currently open from Moosonee to Fort Albany.

The road is typically open to light traffic like pickup trucks by mid-January and to heavier traffic by early February.

People are asked to drive with caution as there is still heavy equipment on the road and flooding activities taking place at various water crossings, according to a Kimesskanemenow LP’s Facebook post.

“The construction from Fort Albany to Attawapiskat is well along and we hope to open the rest of the road to light traffic by tomorrow. There are still a few bridges that need some work which is being done today,” Nancy Wood, the president of Kimesskanemenow LP, said in an email.

Jan. 14, Kashechewan First Nation declared a state of emergency and went into a 24/7 lockdown due to two nurses in the community testing positive for COVID-19, according to a media statement from Chief Gaius Wesley.

Wood said the lockdown impacted the construction as the crews were not working.

"Communities have updated their COVID-19 protocols due to the opening of the road. Screening is being done at all of the communities," she said.

This season, the winter road was built to more robust standards as it will be used to haul remaining equipment from the decommissioned Victor Mine.

Wetum Road, the winter road that connects Moose Factory to Otter Rapids, opened last week.