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Highway 17 Batchawana to Wawa closed (7 a.m. update)

Friday, December 13, 2013   by: SooToday.com Staff

OPP NEWS RELEASE

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7 a.m. Friday, December 13 update
 
Superior East Detachment of Ontario Provincial Police report Highway 17 between Batchawana and Wawa reopened at 2:19 a.m.
 
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Original release: 10:30 a.m., Thursday, December 12
 
Ontario Provincial Police report Highway 17 from Batchawana to Wawa closed

Superior East Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police advise of the following Road Advisory:

Highway 17 from Batchawana to Wawa is closed due to icy highway.

No detour is available and the estimated duration of the road advisory is unknown.

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 at http://www.mto.gov.on.ca 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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Wicket 12/12/2013 10:37:35 AM Report

Really wish Sootoday would put a time on these releases...including the updates
Sofahorse 12/12/2013 10:45:33 AM Report

It does say when it was posted. Go to the main Local News page. Right beside the article name is the Posted Date.
Tag33&1/3rd 12/12/2013 10:56:49 AM Report

Every day it closes? If it's just closed due to ice--salt/sand it?
Retreaded 12/12/2013 11:24:52 AM Report

In years gone by that highway was rarely closed for any length of time. What is the problem? lack of plows? Money? BOTH ?
Beej 12/12/2013 11:27:22 AM Report

The problem is.. the government is trying to save money, AGAIN.
Does it not always backfire?
Paul Rowe 12/12/2013 12:08:41 PM Report

MTO's class system is or comes close to being illegal due to discrimination. I read this in KenoraOnline's Dec. 7th article , "drivers protest highway conditions":
Ministry of Transportation's representative, Annemarie Piscapo says" the priority of the road is based on a class system which is based on the amount of average winter traffic volumes for a section of highway. The Trans Canada and hwy.
11 Are classified as class 2, meaning there must be bare pavement within16 hours after the end of the storm."
Dawn Rowe
mallet 12/12/2013 2:07:35 PM Report


Tag and et al...

If you are out there right now you would see it is really silly to go out with salt and sand. There are frequent squalls coming off the lake which are putting down 2 to 3 inches every time so your salt and sand would be buried under the snow very quickly, and remember salt only works when the temperature is above a certain figure about 20C and with the windchill I think you will find it is cooler than that.. This is one of those cases where the MTO is damned if they do and damned if they don't, if you don't want to bust the budget then you wait until the conditions clear and it is safe for everyone and the plows and sanders can work safely.... remember it is the police who close the roads in winter!!
Timbob 12/12/2013 7:50:01 PM Report

@Mallett

You're wrong. There is no decision to make. Just get out there and do it. Plow and sand the damn highway. NOW! Not in 3 hours, not tomorrow, NOW. Like they used to do 20 years ago.

The guys who've retired have forgotten more about clearing that highway than the people in charge today could ever hope to learn.

There's no good reason to not have snowplows on the road. That's their job. You learn to deal with the conditions. You get good at your job - even in snow squalls.

This isn't some backwards, two bit, basket case country half way across the globe. This is supposed to be a reasonably efficient G8 country with people who know how to get things done. Not a bunch of fools who continually pull out the safety manual and complain that they had to work under less than ideal conditions today.
trj 12/12/2013 9:17:26 PM Report

Timbob you are correct and i can add the following. Hiwy North must be a nightmare for truckers and i am sure that many avoid it where possible and use Hiwy 11. But for the ones that brave it and i have seen it, the Montreal River area with the hills are very treacherous. The plows must constantly be out there and loading on the sand/ salt mix. I have seen truckers stuck on these hills, no plows, no sand and all they do later is close the highway. Maybe erect signs to warn all travelers to use at your own risk and make chains mandatory? I seen spots that were once opened in a bit to get campers/ice fishermen off the highway. These spots now are seldom plowed and when they do the area is barely adequate. So yes the reason for all these closures i really believe is because they are not out there doing what they are paid to do and take pride in making our highways safe.As i post this, i assume that the highway is still closed? Since 10:30 this morning. Wow.
Giller 12/13/2013 6:46:15 AM Report

I was on the highway yesterday travelling from Montreal River Harbour to the Sault and if anyone else was, you would know why the highway was closed. 100% whiteouts.... it does not matter how much salt or sand you throw at the road, if you cant see, you cant see....period. They made a good call to close the road. That stretch of highway is very dangerous and the driving conditions yesterday were terrible at best. The only reason I was on the highway is because I got in between the closure points unknowingly.
cliff76 12/13/2013 7:12:03 AM Report

Oh stop... Just get on ur sled and take the lake
Beej 12/13/2013 9:50:34 AM Report

Yes, get on your Jesus sled and take the lake!
hblighthouse 12/13/2013 10:55:40 AM Report



Salt doesn't work when it's this cold.

trj

The MTO doesn't allow sweet loads (salt/sand mix) anymore. On a morning such as this we would be scrapping the highway, followed by the spreader applying material to the centre line...wait for an hour or so and do it again. By 5pm we'd have the yellow line bared and most of the travelled portions. The combination units are useless in these situations.

At almost 11am I haven't seen a plow truck. The MTO has definitely lowered their standards...in favour of Transfield. Another 9 years remaining in a 12 year contract...what a bunch of crap!!!
crashed13 12/13/2013 1:11:28 PM Report

Even when it's not snowing hard it closed now.
They should hire a person to plow it like the old days, or post a "Use at your own" risk sign so people with 4x4 get just go for it if they wish.
hblighthouse 12/13/2013 1:37:40 PM Report

The best time to plow was when they closed the highway...didn't have to worry about hitting anybody.

Close the road when you have to, but at least make an effort to bare the road when the weather clears. They don't even want to do that anymore. We're fortunate more people don't get hurt.

Too many people try to sue the MTO and OPP because of their own stupidity.
mallet 12/13/2013 3:58:23 PM Report

HBlighthouse..

Just travelled the portion of 17N from Havilland to Goulais, road is snow packed, with quite a bit of salt/sand on it. but the vehicles are just blowing it to the side and doing nothing. The road to downtown Goulais is vitually centre bare and you can see the lines. Unless we get a raise in temperature I think it will remain thise way for a few days ...
hblighthouse 12/13/2013 6:50:37 PM Report

The idea is to keep working at it. The ambient temperature might be -20 or so but traffic can generate heat. The plow blades generate heat. Once you have the centre line cleared the rest is easier.
Salt remains active at -8 to -12. Once a strip of ashphalt is exposaed to the sun and heat, the snowpack will peel away. It's not hard, when you do it right.

I don't mind having to slow down because of road conditions. It's the people that insist on doing 100kph on a snowpacked road and they don't have a clue where the yellow line is or what the shoulders are like. Driving over centre is against the law...if you know where centre is.
crashed13 12/14/2013 9:42:41 AM Report

People need a painted line to know where the center is?
What do they do on wide gravel roads, pull over in confusion?
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Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. 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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