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Freedom Road to Shoal Lake 40 First Nation now completed

City of Winnipeg constructed two bridges as part of the project

June 19, 2019

A four-day long celebration in early June, 2019, helped officially open Freedom Road. The 24-kilometre stretch of gravel road connects Shoal Lake 40 First Nation to the Trans-Canada Highway.

The City of Winnipeg is committed to help build all-weather road access to the Shoal Lake 40 First Nation community. It was one of the funding partners for two bridges as part of the all-weather road project. Shoal Lake is the source of Winnipeg’s drinking water.

This bridge crosses the aqueduct carrying Winnipeg’s water supply.

This bridge crosses the aqueduct carrying Winnipeg’s water supply.

“Building the two bridges was not only important for the Freedom Road project but it was also important to help us build the relationship with the community,” said Tim Shanks, Water Service Manager.

When travelling from the Trans-Canada Highway, the first bridge crosses the aqueduct carrying Winnipeg’s water supply.

“The pipe requires a bridge structure over it to take traffic loading off the pipe,” said Shanks.

This bridge crossed the Falcon River diversion.

This bridge crossed the Falcon River diversion.

The second bridge goes over a channel diverting Falcon River water away from the aqueduct intake.

“It is truly an amazing feeling to see all of our friends, allies, and community members here to celebrate with us,” said Chief Erwin Redsky, with Shoal Lake 40 First Nation. “I just want Winnipeggers to know we have a lot of friends from Winnipeg here with us and without their support and knowledge of the story the road would not be possible.”

The City of Winnipeg is a part of the 1989 Shoal Lake tripartite agreement. It partners the City with the Province of Manitoba and Shoal Lake 40 First Nation. The agreement is designed to protect the water of Shoal Lake and promote sustainable economic growth for the Shoal Lake 40 First Nation.