Winter road opens to traffic today

·2 min read

After being cancelled last year, the winter road connecting coastal communities to the Ontario highway system opens to travellers today.

The Wetum Road opens Jan. 14 at 5 p.m.

All travellers will be required to check-in at Moose Factory and Wetum Road checkpoints and complete a screening form.

The forms will be provided when travellers head south. There’s also an option to print and fill out the form beforehand. It can be found here.

Wetum Road is a 170-kilometre long winter road connecting Moose Factory to Otter Rapids. It is built and decommissioned every winter. The speed limit is 50 km/h.

The entire distance from Moose Factory to Smooth Rock Falls is about 300 kilometres and takes six hours, according to Moose Cree First Nation’s website.

This season, Moose Cree First Nation received $381,457 from the province for the construction of the road.

According to Moose Cree’s pandemic bylaw, people travelling via Wetum Road and who don’t reside in Moose Factory Island will not be allowed to remain on the island and must travel on to their own community.

Moose Factory non-residents who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have been identified as high-risk exposure contact won’t be allowed to travel to Moose Factory.

A Moose Factory Island resident who’s been identified a high-risk exposure must contact the health centre and isolate for 10 days upon the arrival.

There’s a mandatory community curfew from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.

Exceptions will be made for those travelling or leaving via Wetum Road and for emergency personnel, medical care, family emergencies and for those practicing traditional harvesting, according to the bylaw.

The bylaw remains in effect until at least Feb. 4.

During the 2020-21 season, the Wetum Road was cancelled due to COVID-19 outbreak concerns.

Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, TimminsToday.com

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