It is likely to be into 2021 before ice roads open in the north,

Minister of Highways and Infrastructure Joe Hargrave said the situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic is on the ministry’s mind when they make all their current decisions. He added the government recognizes how important the roads are now especially and hopes they’ll be able to open them earlier and keep them going longer.

“Even a couple weeks longer than normal, that’ll make a big, big difference,” he said.

The minister stressed the roads will not be opened until it is deemed safe to do so. Overall Hargrave said they are at the mercy of the weather as temperatures need to be low enough and snow conditions need to be favorable.

“Snow is actually an insulator on the ice,” he said.

In total the province builds and operates four ice roads and two winter roads in the province’s north. Hargrave said last year the ice roads didn’t open until the start of February.

“When we live in Saskatchewan we’re always at the mercy of the weather,” he said.

(Photo: MBC News Staff)