PEI

Stanley Bridge roundabout's snow mound 'hazardous' and 'impassable,' says truck driver

An P.E.I. transport truck driver says the province's solution to make the Stanley Bridge roundabout more visible in winter — by piling snow in the centre — is making driving more dangerous.

The province has piled snow in the centre to let drivers know the intersection is a roundabout

The province is piling snow in the middle of the Stanley Bridge roundabout so drivers will be aware the intersection is a traffic circle. (Lindsay Carroll/CBC)

An P.E.I. transport truck driver says the province's solution to make the Stanley Bridge roundabout more visible in winter — by piling snow in the centre — is making driving more dangerous.

The roundabout is the first on the Island that uses bright yellow paint instead of cement barriers in the centre to direct traffic. But when covered by snow, the markings can be obscured.

So the province piled more snow in the centre to make the roundabout stand out.              

Truck driver Tom Hearn said the roundabout is so small, that with the snow in the middle he would have to drive over the pile to make the turn.              

That's dangerous and hard on equipment, he said.

"When I go around it personally, I take about half that circle. And for them to mound any snow in there at all it makes it impassable," said Hearn.

"If somebody is going through that intersection and they don't see the snowbank, I mean, it's going to do some damage."

He said it will be "extremely hazardous" if the pile of snow turns to ice.

Even a light snow obscures the Stanley Bridge roundabout's paint markings. (CBC)

"I'm not willing to rip parts off my trailer, trying to make the corner," he said. "I would have to go probably a good distance out of my way just to avoid that traffic circle."

The province put the snow in the middle of the circle to make sure people realize it's a roundabout, said Stephen Yeo, chief engineer for the Department of Transportation.

"You know, we're not planning to have six or seven feet of snow in the centre there, we just leave a foot or two. It's quite all right for the rear wheels of the trucks, you know, to drive through a bit of snow," said Yeo.

"I don't see it as being a hazard. We haven't had any complaints from any truckers, so we're not aware of an issue. But certainly if there is any complaints we'd certainly like to talk to the individuals or the trucking companies that are having issues."

The province will continue to move snow into the centre, said Yeo.

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