01/18/2013 03:09 EST | Updated 03/20/2013 05:12 EDT

RCMP to lead convoys of cars down highway to Alberta oilsands capital

LAC LA BICHE, Alta. - RCMP vehicles are being deployed to escort motorists down an icy stretch of highway connecting Fort McMurray, Alta., to the rest of the province.

RCMP say that Highway 63 will reopen tonight after being shut down since Thursday evening due to treacherous conditions made worse Friday by freezing rain.

RCMP vehicles will serve as pilot cars to lead about 50 vehicles at a time at 15-minute intervals.

RCMP say that will allow them to minimize the amount of traffic in any given area of the highway, as well as set the pace for the speed of travel.

Maintenance crews are continuing to plow and sand the highway.