The City of Corner Brook submitted about 24 infrastructure projects that it hoped would be funded through the federal Investing in Canada Plan, but wasn’t really expecting to see a roundabout among those approved.
“It was sort of lower on our items,” said Mayor Jim Parsons about the replacement of the traffic light at the West Valley Road-Confederation Drive intersection with a roundabout.
But that was one of 140 municipal infrastructure projects announced by Premier Dwight Ball in Deer Lake on July 29.
The project will be jointly funded by the province, the federal government and community partners.
The province will provide $261,444 of the $865,000 total cost, the federal government will chip in $261,522 and the city the remainder.
Parsons said the intersection, which serves as an entrance off the highway to the city’s downtown, is a bit of problem one with three roads and access to private businesses all at the same point.
It was identified in a traffic study conducted by the city as one of the top intersections that would have to be dealt with.
“The most sensible way to deal with that is not to put additional lights there,” said Parsons.
With sufficient room in the area the city’s engineering staff feel a roundabout is the way to go.
“It’s a relatively scary proposition here in Newfoundland just because we don’t have a lot of them (roundabouts), but in other parts of the world it’s very, very common,” he said.
Halifax recently added more of them and so has St. John’s.
Parsons said roundabouts are efficient for routing traffic and they’re very safe with less chance of a high-speed accident occurring in a roundabout.
“And they don’t break. Traffic lights are very expensive.”
With some engineering work still to be done, Parsons said it will be next year before the roundabout is constructed.