Winter roads are seasonal routes that only exist in the winter – they run over land and over frozen water surfaces (lakes, rivers). The over-ice segments are particularly vulnerable to a warming climate. Ice reinforcement for the purpose of sustaining higher loads, and/or for a longer duration, may be seen as an effective means to remediate weak links along a winter road operation, but that technique is not well known. A review of documented cases is presented in which reinforced ice was used in full scale scenarios, with information on construction and deployment procedures. Retrieval of reinforcement, after the winter road season is over, is another aspect that warrants attention in a planning scheme. A distinction is made between the concepts of ice ‘failure’, linked with ‘first crack’, and ‘breakthrough’, which are complex phenomena involving a sequence of radial and circumferential cracks, when a vehicle breaks partly or completely through the ice. Determining the bearing capacity of reinforced ice is seen as an outstanding challenge in being able to implement a safe and effective reinforcement procedure. The solution would be to perform real-world, fully controlled ice testing, and most importantly, allow for breakthrough to be achieved, so as to capture the full response and assess breakthrough resistance.