Construction of a roundabout has begun in Grand River.
“Utility work started on Monday (July. 29) and the actual construction with the contractor will begin next Tuesday (Aug. 6),” said western regional engineer Mark Cherren.
The area affected is east of the intersection of Route 12 and MacDougall Road.
The expected date of completion for the project is Sept. 27.
Farmers have expressed concerns in the past, but Cherren assures the construction will provide clearance for all vehicles.
“The site will accommodate any harvest machinery out there. We know we’re in rural area, and any farm machines will be permitted through. It shouldn't hold anyone up in that way.”
In the initial estimated budget, the project cost $500,000-$600,000. After the detailed provincial budget was released, that estimate increased to a total of $918,000.
“We applied and were approved for federal funding. The program is a 50/50 share (between federal and provincial) so the provincial government would be paying $459,000, if we were to use the maximum of what was approved,” said Cherren.
"Trying to take children… and walk around the roundabout pushing a stroller with kids to try to get to church on Sunday? Not very safe."
He said the original cost was only an estimate, and with more details, the project was deemed to have a higher amount.
“The first budget was an early estimate without a design. After having a public meeting and hearing public feedback on some changes that were required, and after we had a design, our detailed estimate showed what it could cost. It could be less; we’ll know more once we start construction.”
The construction work will be done by A.J. Maintenace Ltd.
In a statement issued by the government of P.E.I., delays are to be expected in the area and drivers are asked to reduce their speed in the construction zone.
Helen MacKinnon, wife of Donald Mackinnon, owner of the property where the roundabout is constructed, said it will be a safety measure for the community.
“It’s necessary thing against accidents. Hopefully, it will save lives.”
The MacKinnons have heard other people’s thoughts against the roundabout, but they see first-hand what happens in the area, she said.
“A lot of people are saying it’s not necessary, but we live here. We see what the traffic is like, and we have seen some accidents and many close calls.”
In a previous article published by the Journal Pioneer, Gordon Poirer, a resident and owner of local business in the area, said his family walks through the intersection regularly.
"Trying to take children… and walk around the roundabout pushing a stroller with kids to try to get to church on Sunday? Not very safe,” said Poirer.
At the public meeting about the roundabout in April, director of capital projects Stephen Yeo had offered to have a walking and biking lane on the edges.
Poirier was also concerned about the traffic impacting the driveway of his business.