Manitoba to explore future all-weather roads to northern remote communities

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WINNIPEG, Man. — The province of Manitoba is launching an engineering study to look at potential routes for future all-weather roads to remote communities in northern Manitoba, according to an announcement from Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Steve Ashton.

The province will focus on remote communities in northern Manitoba that do not have all-weather road access and are not already being addressed by the Manitoba East Side Road Authority, said Ashton.

“This study will help determine possible routes for all-weather roads to these remote communities and supports our strategy to expand and promote development in the north,” he said.  “The conditions we’ve seen from recent winters show that we have to take steps to improve transportation to these communities.” 

The communities in the study are Churchill, Shamattawa, York Landing, Ilford, Pikwitonei, Thicket Portage, Pukatawagan, Brochet, Lac Brochet and Tadoule Lake.

Transportation in these areas supports social and economic development opportunities, emergency services and other important aspects of community development, said Ashton.  While transportation is available in some communities through rail, winter roads and provincially operated airports, the lack of all-weather roads means transportation costs are significantly higher for these communities.

The Manitoba East Side Road Authority has contracted SNC-Lavalin to study potential all-weather route options for the northern portion of the east side of Lake Winnipeg. The authority is developing a network that involves two separate roads in the north, one from the Island Lake region to Norway House and PR 373, and a separate southern network from Poplar River south servicing regional communities while preserving forests intact in almost the entire east side, the minister said. 

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