Provincial Roads 280 and 290

Provincial Roads (PR) 280 and 290, in northern Manitoba, are owned and maintained by Manitoba Infrastructure.

We rely on these gravel roads to transport our workforce, equipment, and materials to facilities in the Gillam area, the Keewatinohk Converter Station (part of the Bipole III Transmission Line project), and the Keeyask Generating Station.

Neighbouring communities have expressed concerns about our project-related traffic on PR 280 and PR 290, with respect to speed, truck weights, convoys, and dust – each of which may affect driving and road conditions. We share these concerns. We're taking a number of steps to reduce our impact on these roads and strengthen our relationships by working together with communities to address concerns, as outlined below.

Status

Northern Manitoba road and rail system map.

View a detailed map of northern road and rail system (PDF, 952 KB).
Enlarge image.

PR 280 & PR 290 Weekly Plans (PDF, 71 KB), provided by Manitoba Infrastructure.

In 2017, overall truck traffic on PR 280 and PR 290 is predicted to be similar to 2016. We anticipate:

  • a 30 per cent increase in truck traffic to the Keeyask Generating Station based on increased work productivity at site;
  • a 50 per cent decrease in truck traffic for work associated with the Keewatinohk Converter Station, resulting from the wind down of civil work and start of commissioning.

View graphs of total traffic volumes since 2015 (PDF, 200 KB).

Bipole III Transmission construction will be completed in 2018. Civil work will start to wind down on the Keeyask Project in 2019.

Stay up-to-date on road conditions and Manitoba Infrastructure's activities:

Road facts

  • Since 2015, 42 kilometres of PR 280 have been reconstructed. An additional 12 kilometres will be completed in 2017.
  • From June 16 to December 17, 2016, 5,750 trucks were scaled at the Provincial Trunk Highway (PTH) 6 weigh station prior to travelling on PR 280. Only 47 trucks did not comply with weight limits (less than 1 per cent).
  • Between 2007 and 2016, traffic volumes have increased between 8 to 9 per cent each year on both PR 280 and PR 290.
  • The segment of PR 280 with the highest traffic volumes is between PR 391 and Split Lake. In 2016, traffic counts were approximately 350 vehicles per day (15 per hour). Of the 350 vehicles per day, about 60 were large trucks (average of 2 to 3 per hour). These traffic counts are considered very low compared to other highways in Manitoba.
  • Large trucks (5 axles and over) account for 15 to 20 per cent of all traffic on PR 280.
  • Small passenger vehicles (i.e. cars and light trucks) account for approximately 80 per cent of vehicles exceeding the posted speed limit.
  • The month with the heaviest traffic on PR 280 was March 2016, with an average of 238 small vehicles per day and 88 trucks per day (northbound and southbound combined). The month with the lightest traffic was May 2016, with an average of 146 small vehicles per day and 35 trucks per day (northbound and southbound combined).

Excavator scoops earth away from PR280 road construction.
Road reconstruction on PR 280.

Front loader waits at the side of PR280 while a road roller smooths out the surface.
Road reconstruction on PR 280.

Investing in the roads

We are committed to helping the Province improve PR 280 and PR 290. We contribute funds to Manitoba Infrastructure to complete various road reconstruction projects and general maintenance. These contributions will continue through 2019.

Since 2009, we have made significant contributions towards road upgrades and maintenance, including:

  • reconstruction of 42 kilometres of PR 280;
  • an Augmented Maintenance Program (2015 to 2020) to support additional maintenance activities, including increased grading, traffic gravel application, dust abatement, and signage;
  • operation of the existing weigh station on PTH 6, near Thompson, to address concerns related to truck weights and convoys. All of our project-related traffic is required to report to the weigh station before travelling on PR 280 and PR 290;
  • installation of 5 traffic monitoring stations to track vehicle counts, vehicle types, and speeds.

Reducing our impact

We have developed a comprehensive transportation management plan to reduce the impacts of project traffic on PR 280 and PR 290. The plan includes:

  • pre-hauling materials during the winter months;
  • night hauling;
  • reductions in truck traffic or reductions in truck weights during periods when the road condition is significantly deteriorated;
  • operation of the weigh station;
  • increased communication with staff, contractors, and other road users.

The initiatives being implemented under our plan will help reduce wear and tear on the road and allow Manitoba Infrastructure to better maintain the road condition.

Working with our neighbours

A PR 280 Joint Advisory Committee was formed by the Province in 2014, to provide a forum for community input into the planning of upgrades to PR 280. The committee includes representatives from Manitoba Hydro, Manitoba Infrastructure, Manitoba Indigenous and Municipal Relations, and 5 neighbouring communities.

Road safety

We have set clear driver expectations for all contractors travelling on PR 280 and PR 290 to:

  • be courteous;
  • obey posted speed limits;
  • drive to road conditions;
  • report to the weigh station to receive a scale ticket when report lights are flashing;
  • hand in scale tickets at the project security gates;
  • prevent convoys by leaving a minimum spacing of 1 kilometre between other trucks.

PTH 6 weigh station personnel and security gate personnel at the Keeyask and Keewatinohk project sites have been instructed to stagger the departure of trucks to minimize convoys.

To improve visibility and road safety, Manitoba Infrastructure applies a dust suppressant on the road surface to reduce the amount of dust being kicked up by traffic. Vehicles will face delays every now and then along their travels on PR 280 and PR 290 due to road conditions or construction.

Contact

Manitoba Infrastructure is responsible for the development of transportation policy and legislation, and for the management of the province's vast infrastructure network. Additional information can be found on the Manitoba Infrastructure website, including guidelines for hauling oversized loads on PR 280 and PR 290.

Contact Manitoba Infrastructure, Northern Regional Office, Thompson: 204-677-6540.

Contact Manitoba Hydro: publicaffairs@hydro.mb.ca.