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Winter roads open to traffic

Crews are still working on the ice roads and there are some load restrictions
Winter road openings were delayed this year due to heavy snow and warm temperatures.

The winter roads serving northern communities have opened, though there are still some restrictions.

The James Bay winter road opened at 8 a.m. today (Jan. 31) to lighter vehicles and the Wetum Road opened on Saturday, Jan 28.

“It’s been a challenging year, weather-wise,” said Nancy Wood, president of Kimesskanemenow Limited Partnership, which operates the James Bay winter road. “The crews have worked very hard to get it open.”

Normally, the ice roads open around mid-January. The opening was delayed this year due to heavy snow and warmer-than-average temperatures.

SEE: Ice roads delayed by warm weather, heavy snow

The Wetum Road is 170 kilometres and connects Moose Factory to Otter Rapids.

Drivers are warned that the edges of the road may still be soft in some areas, so travelling closer to the centre of the road is suggested when possible.

Crews are still working on the road as well, so drivers should also be aware of their presence.

The James Bay winter road that connects Attawapiskat, Fort Albany and Kashechewan to Moosonee can now support vehicles up to 7,500 pounds. Crews are also still working on this stretch of road. 

Wood said that they’re aiming to have the James Bay road open to heavier traffic soon.

“We’re hoping to get it open to heavy loads in a week or so,” said Wood.

Updates on conditions are available online at the Kimesskanemenow website and the Moose Cree Wetum road page.

Amanda Rabski-McColl, LJI Reporter

About the Author: Amanda Rabski-McColl, LJI Reporter

Amanda Rabski-McColl is a Diversity Reporter under the Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada
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