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Fort Chipewyan Winter Road re-opens after temporary closure

PHOTO. The Fort Chipewyan winter road.

FORT MCMURRAY (660 NEWS) – The Fort Chipewyan Winter Road has re-opened after a temporary closure.

The closure was issued after a section of shifting ice was found near the south end of the Embarras Crossing.

Crews have now completed all necessary repairs and motorists can resume essential travel.

In a news release from The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB), crews continue to work on establishing a safe ice integrity and thickness for larger loads at the Des Rochers River ice crossing and other crossings along the route.

The RMWB said it is committed to increasing the load limit of 5,000 kg as soon as possible, but is heavily dependent on weather.

Speed limits continue to be strictly enforced with patrols and monitoring in place.

Fast moving vehicles can build a wave under the ice that can easily damage the road and break ice suddenly when the wave strikes the shoreline, a sandbar, or collides with a wave from a vehicle travelling in the opposite direction.

Damaged ice creates a serious safety hazard and may result in the winter road being temporarily closed or delays in reaching higher load limits.

To ensure the safety of all drivers and to prevent damaging the winter road, all drivers must stop at the entrance of ice crossings and wait until no other vehicles are on the crossing before proceeding.