11/22/2013 01:48 EST | Updated 01/25/2014 04:01 EST

Blustery ribbon-cutting for prime minister at opening of Manitoba roadway

WINNIPEG - As photo opportunities go, it wasn't the most glamorous.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger stood at the entrance of a Winnipeg highway Friday and cut a ribbon as the wind chill hovered near -20 C.

The ceremony marked the official opening of a nine-kilometre, four-lane road that connects an industrial transportation park with the perimeter highway around Winnipeg.

Later — indoors — Harper said the expressway will provide much quicker and easier access for truckers to the city's airport and a transportation hub known as Centreport.

The federal and Manitoba governments committed a combined $212 million for the project.