The winter road between Fort McMurray, Fort Chipewyan and Fort Smith opened last Thursday at noon, but drivers are warned that significant work is still required.
“Extreme caution should be exercised by anyone using the road,” the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) announced. “It is recommended that travelers use 4×4 vehicles because there are rough and narrow sections in the delta as well as ongoing signage installation.”
A speed limit of 50 km/h and a load limit of 4,500 kg applies to traffic on the Fort Chip road, although weight restrictions will be increased as road conditions improve.
Parks Canada warned drivers that large trucks are hauling gravel on the Fort Smith road between Kilometre 28 south of Salt River and Kilometre 136 at the Peace Point-Moose Island road. Traffic should keep to the right side at all times.
Drivers are advised that there are many slippery sections, and they should watch for machinery doing road work as water trucks, graders and snow cats continue to work in the delta.
“Exercise extreme caution while passing flooding crews in the delta,” said RMWB staff.
The two bridge structures on the winter road, Richardson Crossing and Firebag, will be open to light traffic (up to 4,500 kg). Those traveling from Fort Chipewyan to Fort McMurray southbound will have the right of way.
There are no regular services, such as gas stations or road patrols, on the winter road and cell phone coverage is limited. Both the RMWB and Parks Canada advise travelers to be prepared for emergency situations and advise someone with their estimated time of arrival.
For more information on the Fort Chip road, please call the winter road hotline at 1-866-743- 6111 or (780)-697-3600 during business hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
For information on the Fort Smith winter road please call Parks Canada at 867-872-7962.