Red means stop...
And green means wait another six to eight months
Drivers experiencing lengthy, nail-biting waiting times while trying to make left-hand turns from Goff Avenue or Forest Road onto Columbus Drive and vice versa are going to have to wait a little longer before they see any traffic lights at that busy Carbonear intersection.
Successive town councils have been lobbying successive provincial governments for years to have traffic signals installed in the intersection, which has been the scene of numerous accidents.
After being initially turned down, the project finally got the green light from the department of Transportation and Works last year.
But an actual start on the project has been plagued by a series of delays over land acquisition etc.
The Carbonear town council has been trying to shed some light on the issue during recent meetings.
Mayor Sam Slade told council at their Oct. 19 regular meeting that, “the traffic lights and road realignment of Goff Avenue and Forest Road has now been delayed until the spring (2010) due to contractor unavailability.”
The Newfoundland and Labrador Credit Union, which owns a new building at the corner of Forest Road and Columbus Drive has expressed concerns over the delays in seeing the traffic lights in place.
A letter from the Credit Union was tabled at the Nov. 3 regular council meeting. In her correspondence, Allison Chaytor-Loveys, the Credit Union’s chief executive offi- cer reminded Mayor Slade of a conversation they had in February, 2008, regarding the dangerous intersection of Columbus Drive and Forest Road, Carbonear and the fact that a light to regulate traffic flow was necessary. “At that time you agreed with our concerns and advised us that the installation of a traffic light at the intersection would be the responsibility of the provincial government,” she wrote.
Apparently, acting on a suggestion from the mayor, the Credit Union wrote Carbonear-Harbour Grace MHA Jerome Kennedy and found out that the installation had
“ We are disappointed that this light has not been installed,” The Credit Union’s CEO wrote. “However, it is our understanding this is due to the fact the shopping mall across the street objected to the timing of the installation and it will not be put in place until the spring (2010).”
In her letter read by mayor Slade at the Nov. 3 council meeting, Chaytor-Loveys asked council to “ reconsider this decision as the installation of this light will assist in eliminating the current risk to traffic and people travelling and keep our roads safer for our residents.”
Mayor Slade told council he contacted the Credit Union to clarify that the reason for the latest delay was that “the contractor was not available to start the project.”
Apparently there was some misconception that the project had been delayed by concerns expressed by the shopping mall over the impact of construction in the area during the busy preChristmas shopping season.
Deputy Mayor Ches Ash suggested it should be clarified that the delays in the start of the project were not caused by any objections from the shopping mall. He said, “council shares the Credit Union’s concerns and as soon as it is feasible in the spring the project will proceed.”
Mayor Slade told council the contract for the traffic lights project was let last fall and some materials purchased.
Town Administrator Cynthia Davis confirmed the department of Transportation and Works actually tendered the project and the contract was let last fall. But the contractor already had a number of other projects in the works. There were also some land acquisition issues to be settled. By the time that was completed in late August, early September, the contractor had gone to work on other projects out of town. It would be the end of September before the contractor could get back to start the job and it was felt there would not be enough time to complete the work this fall.
The traffic light installation project is not simply a matter of installing poles and lights at the
Bill Bowman/The Compass DANGEROUS INTERSECTION - The intersection of Columbus Drive, Goff Avenue and Forest Road has been the scene of numerous accidents over the years. Traffic signals for the dangerous intersection have been given the green light. But frustrated drivers will have to wait another six-eight months before the project sees the light of day.