Winter road system ready for transit starting next week: province

Manitoba infrastructure officials say the province's winter road system is expected to open up this weekend.

The province's more than 2,300 kilometres of winter roads - with the exception of one road, the one leading to Tadoule Lake - are expected to open for traffic soon. Some roads that are part of the system, including the road leading to Brochet from near Lynn Lake, roads to Pikwitonei and Thicket Portage and others to Oxford House, Poplar River and on the east side of Lake Winnipeg are open.

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Near Flin Flon, the area's most notable winter road - the one running from Pukatawagan to Highway 10, which includes stretches on Kississing Lake and other nearby lakes - is slated to open by Feb. 22.

The winter road season has opened several weeks later than normal - the roads are usually open for transit in mid-to-late January. The delay, according to Manitoba infrastructure minister Ron Schuler in a Feb. 17 press release, was due to warmer than average temperatures.

"Due to warmer temperatures in December and January, construction fell behind the seasonal schedule. However, we will not compromise the safety of the road system or of the people constructing it. After many efforts, we are pleased to announce the system will be completed this week and communities will have full passage to the network," reads a quote from Schuler.

All travellers on the roads are asked to exercise caution and follow all existing provincial and regional health orders relating to COVID-19. If needed, travellers are also asked by the province to contact individual communities to double-check what orders are in place for specific communities.

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