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In a roundabout way: Opinions mixed on construction of new Summerside traffic circle

Justin Doiron a Summerside City Councillor said a roundabout at the Granville Street - Route 2 intersection will please some constituents.
Justin Doiron, a Summerside councillor, said a roundabout at the Granville Street-Route 2 intersection will please some city constituents. - Millicent McKay
SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. —

A new traffic roundabout is coming to Route 2 on the north side of Summerside.

News of the project has sparked the interest of city residents and others.

On Feb. 1, the province issued a call for tenders to build a roundabout at the intersection of Granville Street and Route 2.

The cost is expected to be about $4 million. Funding will come through the gas tax fund, a partnership between the provincial and federal governments.

Tim MacDonald owner of Big Rig Trucking in Summerside, said roundabouts have their positives.

“They’re better in some cases than coming off the highway and then having to slam on the breaks at a red light," MacDonald said. "At least with roundabouts I can time it and keep moving.

“It’s not too bad, because I know what I have to do in a roundabout to drive safely. A couple times, in the two-lane circles, I’ve had trucks and cars come up beside me and that’s always a bit of shock."

The provincial government has issued a tender for the construction of a roundabout on Route 2 on the north side of Summerside.
The provincial government has issued a tender for the construction of a roundabout on Route 2 on the north side of Summerside.

 

Summerside Coun. Justin Doiron said the current council wasn’t part of discussions about the project.

While campaigning last fall, he said, some constituents brought up concerns about intersections along Route 2, but mainly about the turns on and off from Central Street, not from Granville.

“If you’re coming from Slemon Park, the turn onto Central from the highway is pretty sharp. There’s a short lane and then the yield is close to the entrance causing most people to stop. Then turning left from Central Street onto the highway can be a nightmare," Doiron said.

Summerside residents commenting about the project on Facebook questioned the money being spent, while also noting concerns for the Central Street–Pope Road extension — a contentious subject in the community.

Doiron said the feedback he’s received about the roundabout announcement has been mixed.

“Based on campaigning, some of those constituents will be happy,” Doiron said. “But you can’t please everyone.”


Work on the roundabout

  • Cold planing existing asphalt
  • Excavation
  • ­Culvert installation
  • Storm sewer and catch basins,
  • Installing concrete – curb, gutter, medians and aprons and other necessary work

Coun. Greg Campbell of Ward 5, Hillcrest–Platte River, which includes the construction area for the project, declined to comment when contacted by the Journal Pioneer.

Stephen Yeo, chief engineer with the department of transportation, said the government has been looking to improve the infrastructure in that area for a number of years.

“There were capacity issues, accidents when the intersection was busy, a number of things that have led us to re-evaluate the area,” said Yeo.

There are also a number of upgrades needed at Granville and Central streets.

Yeo said no formal study was completed, but the department worked with a consulting firm to determine if two roundabouts, one roundabout and/or a set of lights at the nearby Central Street/Route 2 intersection would be the best fit.

“It was determined the best option was a roundabout at Granville Street and the re-alignment of Central Street with right and left turn lanes, better markings as well as making the area more accessible for snowmobilers, walkers and cyclists,” said Yeo.

The roundabout will be a dual-lane on Route 2 and single lane coming from Granville Street.

There will be a public meeting in the coming weeks for those with questions about the project.

Twitter.com/JPMillicentMcK
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