'They're waiting two and three light changes': New roundabout coming to Summerside
Province hopes roundabout at Route 2 and Granville will be safer, less waiting
People driving in Summerside, P.E.I., will notice some big changes in the coming months, as the province is expanding two major intersections on Route 2.
The project includes the construction of a roundabout at Route 2 and Granville Street, an addition the province says will help keep traffic moving more smoothly than it does now.
"At various times we get a lot of traffic backed up on Granville Street ," said Stephen Yeo, chief engineer for P.E.I.'s department of transportation.
"They're waiting two and three light changes at times."
Yeo said the roundabout was the safest and most efficient design choice for traffic.
"When there is an accident there, that's the main route on Route 2 that ties up traffic for quite a long time," Yeo said.
'There's long delays'
Just west of that intersection at Route 2 and Central Street, the road is being realigned. The new design includes dedicated right and left turning lanes off Central Street, where there is now only a single lane.
"If you're heading onto Route 2, left-turning traffic ties up a lot of vehicles trying to turn right. There's long delays there and this adjustment will increase the efficiency of the intersection substantially," Yeo said.
Ward Two Coun. Justin Doiron said he's heard mixed opinions on the roundabout project.
"The ones I've spoken to are kind of a 50-50 split," said Doiron.
"A lot of the people I've spoken to are the residents in my ward, and a lot of those folks are asking 'Why not Central Street Highway? Granville Street Highway seems to be fine,'" Doiron said.
"But as I talk to more people on a broader range throughout the city, there are some people in favour of the location where it's going."
Nearly $4M in gas tax funds
According to the province, $3.84 million has been budgeted for the roundabout at Granville Street and improvements to the intersection at Route 2 and Central Street, with funding coming through the gas tax fund.
Doiron expects some residents will suggest the money could have been better spent elsewhere, but he said he believes it is a good project for the city.
"You'll always have the argument, whether it's healthcare or housing, why not put it here," said Doiron.
"But the gas tax, it's an infrastructure funding program, what better than to make upgrades to an intersection that needs infrastructure?"
The province has put out a tender for the work which closes Feb 21. Officials said they hope to break ground by late April and to have most of the work done by July 1.