Northern Manitoba gets connected

WINNIPEG — Manitoba’s 2,200-kilometre winter road system to northern and remote communities is now open to vehicles including commercial trucks.

As has been the case for several years now, above-normal temperatures in December delayed the opening of the winter roads, but recent colder temperatures have allowed crews to make progress and the ice is thick enough for big rigs to use the roads.

“These winter roads provide a vital link for northern and remote communities,” said Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Ron Lemieux. “Trucks bringing needed supplies to a large number of communities use these key winter routes which also provide residents with road access.”

Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation has made a number of improvements to the winter road network for the 2008 winter road season including two new bridges that have been installed and are now in operation on the east side of Lake Winnipeg on the Rice River Road near the communities of Bloodvien and Manigotagan.

In recent years, work has also been completed to move over 600 kilometres of road off the ice and onto land.

Commercial trucks can now use the entire winter road system, however, some sections in the southern region have load restrictions of 26 tonnes. In the next week, weather permitting, all roads are expected to be open to full commercial loads of 37.5 tonnes.

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