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Fort Chipewyan Winter Road load limit increases to 20,000 kg

(Fort McMurray, AB – February 7, 2020) – Beginning today, the load limit on the Fort Chipewyan Winter Road has increased to 20,000 kg and under. 

Further increases to the load limit remain a priority for the Municipality, but increases are dependent on weather and the progress crews make establishing safe ice integrity. Regular testing continues to be done and load limits will be increased as soon as it is safe to do so. 
A contractor that uses a specialized ice construction method has been hired by the Municipality to accelerate ice building at the Des Rochers River crossings. Additional resources are also being provided to maintain ice thickness and integrity along the winter road.

Motorists are advised that there may be periodic closures of the west and east Des Rochers River crossings to accommodate construction activities. Crews will be using a different method to build ice that requires water to be sprayed into the air to accelerate the freezing of the water. Each spray should be completed in 45 to 90 minutes, with multiple sprays happening every day.  If wind speeds prevent crews from safely containing the water, the crossing will be temporarily closed while the spraying activities take place. 

Members of the public can receive updates on spraying activities and the status of the Des Rochers River crossing by calling 730-697-3600 between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For updates after business hours, call 780-742-9483.  

Motorists with vehicles heavier than 20,000 kg are requested to stay off the winter road until load limits have been increased. Overly heavy vehicles could damage the road, causing safety hazards or delays in reaching heavier load limits once the ice thickens.

For those travelling on the winter road, please drive to conditions and follow all posted signage as failure to do so puts yourself and others at risk of a serious incident. As there are workers, equipment and other motorists on the road, please stay on the right side of the road on hills for enhanced safety. When passing equipment, please reduce speed to 30 km/h for everyone’s safety.

There are no regular services like road patrol, gas stations or cell phone coverage so always be prepared for emergencies. High clearance 4x4 vehicles are recommended.

Updates will be provided regularly as required. Check the following sources for the latest information:

News room - rmwb.ca/news-room.htm
Winter roads page – rmwb.ca/winterroads 
RMWB Facebook and Twitter accounts  
Pulse – 780-743-7000 
Pulse (toll free) 1-800-973-9663
Winter Road Hotline (recorded message) - 866-743-6111





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