"Crews are at work preparing the Fort Chipewyan Winter Road for this season. While opening the winter road before Dec. 25 is a priority, there is no guarantee this timeline will be met as the opening depends on weather conditions, ice integrity and the progress crews make ensuring the road is safe"
According to a press release from the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, Construction of the Fort Chipewyan Winter Road has begun and opening the road before Christmas Day remains a priority. However, the actual opening day still depends on weather conditions, the integrity of the ice at river crossings and progress made by work crews.
Anyone planning to travel the route with a heavy vehicle is asked to submit applications for route and haul permits by Dec. 1.
This year’s route will be shorter and now stretches 159.5 kilometres from gate-to-gate. The eastern ice crossings over the Des Roches River have moved south to avoid the Kazan Wildland Park.
Most fuel, non-perishable food and construction materials arrive in Fort Chipewyan after travelling up the winter road, since trucks are seen as faster alternatives than barges and cheaper than cargo flights.
Crews are also preparing the La Loche Winter Trail, which will open as soon as it is safe for travel.
People using the winter road are asked to:
- Drive with caution and be aware of winter conditions.
- Stay on the right-hand side of the road, especially on hills.
- Slow down to 30 km/h when passing equipment in the sandhills.
- Stay on the designated route. Travelling off road puts drivers at risk of thin ice in surrounding areas.
- Be prepared for emergencies. Road patrols, gas stations and reliable cell phone coverage do not exist on the winter road.
- Always tell people about your travel plans.
- It is suggested people travel in high-clearance 4×4 vehicles
More information about winter roads can be found at: