NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR
Depending on a decision from Clarenville Town Council, significant changes could be coming for the motorists who use Shoal Harbour Drive.
The town council is reviewing a traffic study completed for them by Harbourside Transportation Consultants.
The town’s chief administrative officer, David Harris, told The Packet the consultants suggested reducing the entire street to three lanes, with the centre lane being a turning lane to enable vehicles to safely turn left at various points along the street.
Harris says this would also solve the problem of traffic congestion on that street, using the example that traffic is often held up by vehicles trying to make left turns.
With just two lanes of through traffic on the street, it would enable the town to install left turning arrows at the lights at the Shoal Harbour Drive/O’Mahony Drive/Thompson Street intersection.
About 12,000 cars travel north and south on Shoal Harbour Drive each day, according to the report.
Councilors discussed the report at their Aug. 14 council meeting but did not decide whether or not they would implement any or all of the recommendations. They said they want to make sure they’re not creating more problems with the proposed changes.
“Council right now is trying to decipher what has been provided to them from Harbourside,” said Harris.
Harris says one problem that could present itself could be the visibility of lines in the winter, and after the lines have worn away considerably.
“That’s the issue we’re trying to grapple with now; making sure once we make this move it’s a long-term decision, not something we have to go back and address again.”
If the town council decides to go ahead with the recommendations, not only will left-turning arrows have to be installed at the light at the intersection — involving the installation of sensors below the asphalt — but the current traffic lines along the entire would have to be removed with pressure washers or grinders.
According to Harris, it could cost anywhere from $10,000-$12,000 just to remove the lines, while the alterations to the traffic light would be around $20,000-$25,000.
Harris says the timeline he was given from Harbourside is about eight-weeks from the time the equipment is ordered, arrived and installed.
Council plans to make an official decision on the matter at next week’s council meeting on Aug. 28.