With traffic backing up, City of St. John's to stop rush hour work on Kenmount Road altogether
Mayor says city avoided work at peak times in direction of traffic, but traffic volumes are too high
With the end of roadwork season approaching quickly, Kenmount Road drivers in St. John's are finding themselves increasingly stuck in traffic as crews — for the city and the province — rush to complete work before the snow flies.
St. John's Mayor Danny Breen told CBC's On the Go Thursday that the city has been trying to avoid "grind 'n' patch" work on major arteries like Kenmount Road during rush hour, at least in the direction of heavy traffic flow.
"We try to avoid it on the eastbound in the morning rush hour, westbound on the evening rush hour, and we did that again [Wednesday]," he said. "However, because of the roadwork that was being undertaken on the Outer Ring Road, and the bridge on O'Leary Avenue … we saw very high traffic volumes pushed onto Kenmount Road."
Breen says he's asked city staff to revisit the directional restriction on roadwork so it doesn't happen at all during rush hour.
Better co-ordination needed, says mayor
"I think we need better co-ordination with the province and other municipalities so we can better manage traffic impacts from construction in the region," he said, noting that it's up to the province, not St. John's, when work is done on the Outer Ring Road.
"I think what this really speaks to is a regional approach to transportation. … All the roads here are in a very tight area, with a lot of roads, so one road having work on it can have implications for a number of other routes."
The window for roadwork this year is closing soon, said Breen, and it's hard to get all the work in without some effect on traffic.
"At this time of year, it's very difficult, because you're up at the end of a construction season, you're trying to get the tenders finished and the work completed, and that's not only for the city but for the province trying to get their work done as well, so it's very challenging," he said.
"So we are trying our best to get it all completed but losing those couple of hours is problematic in trying to get the work done."