General Winter Road Safety Information
A 24 hour voice report for Winter Road Information to access remote isolated northern Manitoba communities is available by calling Highway Information Services at (204) 945-3704 or toll free 1-877-627-6237
- All anticipated opening and closing dates are subject to changes in weather and road conditions. Travel is not approved until a section officially opens as there is no regular inspection or maintenance provided for temporary closures during the season and permanent closures prior to and at the end of the season.
- The road surface can deteriorate rapidly as it is subject to changes in weather. There are also unexpected delays that may occur in this remote, isolated area. Please be prepared for a possible extended trip.
- Proper clothing, personal medication, fuel to reach your destination, vehicle and survival equipment, satellite phone and CB communication are recommended when travelling on the winter road system. Please consider the life threatening consequences of an accident, breakdown or environmental requirements in this remote, isolated area. Any assistance required is the responsibility of the road user.
- Prior to starting your trip you should tell a person at your destination when you expect to arrive.
- Road blockages, sudden storms, ground drifting and whiteout conditions preventing travel and road maintenance can occur in sub-zero temperatures.
- Passing or meeting vehicles should be done with great care because swirling snow can reduce visibility.
- It is recommended that freight haul commence as soon as a section opens. Extreme changes in temperature have been evident in previous winter road seasons and the number of days a section remains open have been reduced. Please take this into account when scheduling your trip or loads as immediate, early or permanent road closures could be a possibility.
- Please drive with caution at all times when travelling on the winter road system as the driving surface is very slippery and stopping distances are increased for all traffic.
- To reduce accidents and injury all drivers should drive at reduced speeds on the land roads as the alignment follows the natural terrain of the land. Vehicles with a G.V.W. of 7 tonnes and over are requested not to exceed the recommended ice road speed limit of 15 km/h. Exceeding the recommended speed limit on ice roads can create ice popouts, cracking, wave action and a complete ice failure.
- All traffic should drive close to the centre of all ice roads, not by the snow storage banks.
- Do not stop or park trucks 7 tonnes or greater on any ice road. Trucks should be staggered 1 km apart when travelling in the same direction on an ice road.
- Travel is not recommended for temperatures of –5oC or milder. Night travel is recommended for improved visibility of approaching traffic.
- Travel during mild temperatures is hazardous and will deteriorate road conditions further. Water on an ice road could erode the travel surface and reduce ice thickness. Continued mild weather will deteriorate the stability of the ice and change its texture to grey, crystallized and honeycomb with no load bearing capacity. Travel is not approved if there is water on any ice road. Travel is not recommended on any land road that is water covered as any breakdown or accident can have the potential to be a life-threatening situation.
- Travel is not approved when the winter road is not open for temporary closures during the season and permanent closures prior to and at the end of the season as the road user cannot safely arrange for assistance. There are also safety, construction and environmental concerns if a vehicle is stranded on the road during the summer.