Do not travel on closed winter roads
Closed roads are not regularly inspected and may be unsafe for travel.
Use extra caution
Winter roads follow the natural terrain and sharp hills and curves are regularly encountered. Muskegs flood and pressure ridges develop and shift without warning. Be prepared to stop at all times.
Keep centred, keep moving and leave space
Ice is significantly weaker near the snow windrows. Always drive just right of centre on an ice road and move over slightly for oncoming traffic. Loads over 7,000 kg GVW traveling in the same direction on an ice road should keep a minimum distance of one kilometer apart. It is also important to remember not to park a vehicle or to store shipped goods on the ice. This can increase risk of the ice breaking.
Slow down for ice and stop for water
The maximum speed on ice roads for all loads exceeding 7,000 kg is 15 km/h. A fast moving vehicle can cause a wave under the ice that can break the ice in front of them when it encounters the shoreline, a sandbar or even the wave created by another vehicle coming in the opposite direction. It is important to slow down when approaching the shoreline to avoid cracking the ice. If you see water on the ice, do not proceed as it may be an indication of trouble ahead.
All loads must be properly secured and extra fasteners should be used to prevent the possibility of load movement and to ensure that loads remain secured when traveling on uneven or slippery surfaces of winter roads.
Fines for damages caused by over weight loads or speeding
Damage to ice roads caused by commercial vehicles exceeding the speed limit or the posted maximum load is punishable by fines as defined in the Highway Traffic Act.
Ice road opening dates
Accurate predictions for ice road opening dates are extremely difficult. The time required to achieve an ice depth of 76 cm depends on weather conditions, such as snow cover, and varying temperatures that affect the rate of ice formation.
- The Wollaston ice road usually opens the first week of February depending on weather and ice conditions.
- The Fond du Lac ice road usually opens in early February with reduced weights. Full weight capacity is normally achieved about two weeks after initial opening.
- The Uranium City ice road is opened following the completion of the Fond du Lac section (Normally mid February).
- All winter roads are officially closed March 31st or earlier depending on ice conditions. MHI does not maintain or recommend travel after this time due to the changing ice and muskeg conditions and early spring storms that can block the ice roads and strand travelers.