The James Bay Road (French: Route de la Baie James) is a remote wilderness highway winding its way through the Canadian Shield in northwestern Quebec and reaches into the James Bay region. It starts in Matagami as an extension of Route 109 and ends at Radisson. The road is fully paved, well maintained, and plowed during the winter. As of 2002, it is no longer a provincial highway and is now administered by the Municipality of Baie-James. The road draws tourists interested in reaching James Bay, which is a part of Hudson Bay and the Arctic Ocean.
There is currently a proposal supported by the region's Cree communities to build a gravel extension some 250 kilometres (160 mi) further north to the twin communities on the Great Whale River - the Cree village of Whapmagoostui and the northern (primarily Inuit) village of Kuujjuarapik, in the Nunavik region.
James Bay Road Wikipedia
The James Bay Road was conceived as an access road for the hydroelectric projects developed in the James Bay region in the 1970s and onwards. Construction began in 1971 and was completed in October, 1974. Gravel branch routes have since been built from the highway, including four roads west to Cree villages on or near James Bay (the one to Chisasibi is paved for most of the way). The Trans-Taiga Road (French: Route Transtaïga) was built and reached Caniapiscau in 1979. The 406 kilometres (252 mi) long Route du Nord (North Road), which also is not a numbered route, connects from km 275 (measured from Matagami) southeast to near Chibougamau, Quebec.
There are no services and development along the full length of the James Bay Road, except for a full-service station at 381 kilometres (237 mi) from Matagami. The station at Km 381 is operational 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, and is complete with cafeteria and rudimentary lodging.
In view of the remote nature of this road, there is a registration office along the side of the road for travellers to register just a few kilometers north from Matagami. It is staffed 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. This office also serves as a tourist office for all communities along or off the James Bay Road.
As further safety provisions, there are six roadside emergency telephones which connect with staff in the registration office.