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Weather conditions close Hwy 17 north (11:45 a.m. update)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013   by: Staff
11:45 a.m., Wednesday, December 11 update
Ontario Provincial Police news advise that Hwy 17 Wawa to Batchawana is now fully opened.
8:55 a.m., Wednesday, December 11 update
Motorists are advised not to attempt driving on Highway 17 North

Sault Ste. Marie OPP are advising motorists living North of Sault Ste. Marie not to attempt to drive on Highway 17.

At this time, snow is falling at a heavy rate and the Highway 17 is impassable with as much as thirty centimetres of snow on the highway in some areas.

It is hazardous at this time for motorists proceeding onto Highway 17 from side roads in that area.

Keeping winter roads and highways safe for all is a shared responsibility between police, emergency response providers, the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) and drivers.

Public safety is the main consideration when deciding to close a road.

Driving on a closed highway is an offence under the Highway Traffic Act of Ontario. 

The OPP reminds motorists and the public not to call the OPP for road conditions. 

You can now call 5-1-1 for interactive up to date road conditions anywhere in Ontario or call the MTO toll-free at 1-800-268-4686.

Further updates on this road closure will be provided.

The Sault Ste. Marie Detachment of the OPP advise of a correction to the previous road advisory.
Highway 17 is closed from Batchawana to Wawa, not Sault Ste. Marie to Batchawana.
Original 8 p.m. , Tuesday, December 10
Hwy 17 closed between Sault Ste. Marie and Batchawana

Sault Ste. Marie Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police advise of the following road advisory:

Location:  Hwy 17 Sault Ste. Marie to Batchawana

Brief description of event:  Deteriorating weather conditions causing reduced visibility and public safety concerns

Detour (if available):  N/A

Estimated duration of road advisory: N/A

The O.P.P. will distribute details and updates of the road advisory as information becomes available.

Please do not call O.P.P. Provincial Communication Centres for road advisory updates or road condition information.

Visit the Ontario Ministry of Transportation website or call 511 for traveller's information such as winter road conditions, construction reports, road closures, traffic reports, traffic cameras and interactive mapping.

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Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of Keep discussions civil and on topic. Refrain from obscenity and don't post anything that your grandmother would be ashamed to read. Those who do not abide by these guidelines will have their membership revoked without notice. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
chichimawn 12/10/2013 8:16:09 PM Report

Don't worry I'm sure the buses will be running in the morning! :D
atoz 12/10/2013 8:40:07 PM Report

Does this mean the highway is closed to get out to pineshores rd in goulais im getting off work soon does anyone have any info ministry map says its closed at batchewana
willy2006 12/10/2013 8:51:25 PM Report

I'm out in Goulais now & it's pretty nasty out. I'm not seeing any traffic on the hwy 17, so I'm assuming it's closed from the Soo. I'm also assuming the OPP closed the hwy, not the MTO. MTO site isnt showing it closed at the Soo.
atoz 12/10/2013 9:00:00 PM Report

Thanks for the heads up willy. Does anyone know for sure if its closed otherwise ill have to figure out what to do for the night thanks
willy2006 12/10/2013 9:01:06 PM Report

Ah, updated with correction. Looks like it's open. Drive careful. It's ugly out.
atoz 12/10/2013 9:10:17 PM Report

Thanks willy
engineguy 12/10/2013 10:31:11 PM Report

Do not worry another blunder from Sootoday

Drive safe .....
Koss 12/10/2013 10:52:14 PM Report

It was the OPP that made the blunder and the correction
Berian 12/11/2013 5:55:10 AM Report

Hwy is closed from 556 to Wawa
Paquer 12/11/2013 6:38:57 AM Report

You can always check for accurate road conditions on the MTO website as they report the road conditions. I find it to be the most accurate.
Hwy 17 N is currently closed from Heyden to Wawa.
willy2006 12/11/2013 8:30:15 AM Report

Road blocks at the mile hill & pineshores.
D.Hasselhoff 12/11/2013 9:55:33 AM Report

Being a newer resident of Goulais, just curious why is the road only blocked off at heyden and not the sault city limits? Everyone from the east of 17N that use 556 are allowed to drive on the highway but no one from down the hill? Is it mainly because of the issues the mile hill produces?
bounder 12/11/2013 10:28:17 AM Report

Heyden Heyden Heyden, not Hayden on the MTO sign in Heyden. GEEEEEEZZ
hblighthouse 12/11/2013 11:25:02 AM Report


The top of the mile hill is known as a mini snowbelt. Getting down the hill can be as treacherous as getting up.

...and...years ago when J.J.Hilsinger owned Searchmount Ski Resort they would close the highway at The Soo. He complained often and loud enough about people not being able to access the resort that the powers that be try to accomodate his and the local resident's concerns.
hblighthouse 12/11/2013 11:38:33 AM Report

Northbound traffic is moving. The highway is Batchewana anyways...I don't know what's happening in The Soo.
willy2006 12/11/2013 11:58:21 AM Report

MTO site isnt showing any 17 closures anymore.
MaximusPrime 12/11/2013 12:11:21 PM Report

Highway winter snow clearing is occurring way less than in previous years. Highway snow removal has been contracted out. Contracting this type of work to private enterprise is not necessarily a problem but the standard contained within the contract should be equal to or greater than when most of the work was performed by M.T.O. Considering the likely loss of life, injury, damage relating to traffic accidents and loss of commercial activity (due to freight being stopped on the Trans-Canada Highway), I think this is a very bad idea. As soon as you hit city limits, the highway is maintained to a superior standard. If this contractor is following the agreed upon contract, the contract must be changed. If this contractor is not performing its duties in accordance with contract, there should be significant financial penalties in place for this contractor and this contractor should not be considered in the the future.
Me myself and I 12/11/2013 1:21:51 PM Report

So what you want is for the road crews to be out in zero visibility ploughing the roads! You want them risking their lives and those who may be stuck on the side of the road. It is a no win situation with many commenters on this site. You are damned if you do and damned if you don't.

When we come in from the east, the highway is usually dry and clear. Then we hit city limits and they are not.

Have you ever stopped to think that there have been a few years where we have not had the snowfall like in the past? Maybe the winter is going back to the way they were a few years ago.

Better safe than sorry! I sure wouldn't want my family risking their lives because idiots think it is okay to drive in zero visibility!
MaximusPrime 12/11/2013 1:38:37 PM Report

Me Myself And I. You are sure putting a lot of words in my mouth. As stated previously, I only expect that they (the contractor) provides a service equal to or better than what M.T.O provided. I am not the only one who as noticed a sharp decline since this job has been contracted out. Your point about driving in from east of the Sault is just plain dumb. There is not, nor has there been (historically speaking) any significant snow fall east of the Sault when compared to the Sault and areas north of the Sault.
Me myself and I 12/11/2013 2:34:22 PM Report

I was pointing out that coming in from the East, when you hit the city limits, you hit snow covered roads.
Me myself and I 12/11/2013 2:38:25 PM Report

Maximus Prime! Who makes you the authority? We have had significant snowfall out here, where in the Sault they didn't. What is this a contest?
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Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of Keep discussions civil and on topic. Refrain from obscenity and don't post anything that your grandmother would be ashamed to read. Those who do not abide by these guidelines will have their membership revoked without notice. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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