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, and the Keeyask Generating Station.
Stay safe on the roads. Find out current conditions before you travel at:
- Manitoba 511 - Road and Traveller Information website; call 511, or follow @MBGovRoads on Twitter;
- Road Conditions for PR 280 group on Facebook.
North and south access roads
The north and south access roads at the Keeyask Project site are restricted to construction and project vehicles only. Keeyask is still an active construction site with many hazards. The public will have to wait until these roads are transferred to Manitoba Infrastructure before they can travel on them. This will not occur until the last unit is in-service at Keeyask, plus approximately one year for decommissioning of the project’s infrastructure.
Manitoba Infrastructure inspected trucks traveling PR 280 in 2020. Officers checked weights, dimensions, licenses, permits, log books, load securement, and dangerous goods, as well as mechanical fitness. These inspections help ensure safety and ease the concerns of travellers.
- Between 2019 and 2020 for the months of January to September, traffic volumes decreased by 18% on PR 280 and decreased by 21% on PR 290.
- The segment of PR 280 with the highest traffic volumes is between PR 391 and Split Lake. In 2020, traffic counts were approximately 247 vehicles per day (10 per hour). Of the 247 vehicles per day, about 28 were large trucks (average of 1 per hour). These traffic counts are considered very low compared to other highways in Manitoba.
- Large trucks (5 axles and over) account for 11% of all traffic on PR 280.
- In 2020 between January to end of September, small passenger vehicles (cars and light trucks) accounted for approximately 89% of vehicles exceeding the posted speed limit (based on the traffic monitoring station located at Site 1 for both North and South bound traffic).
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.
Since 2009, we have made significant contributions towards upgrades and maintenance, including:
- reconstruction of 74 km of PR 280;
- reconstruction of km 32 to km 53 was performed during the summer of 2020 and will be completed in spring 2021;
- continuation of the Augmented Maintenance Program through to 2021. This program supports additional maintenance activities, including supervision, graders, traffic gravel application, dust abatement, and signage;
- funding the construction and operations of a new temporary weigh scale located near the junction of PR 391 and PR 280. Temporary weigh scale operations were suspended as a result of Covid-19 for the 2020 season. The permanent weigh scale south of Thompson on PTH 6 will remain open under normal operating conditions.
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 scale with 24 hour/7 day schedule (spring through fall);
- 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.
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 km between other trucks.
Weigh station personnel and security gate personnel at the Keeyask project site 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.
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 at 204-677-6540.