Red means stop...

And green means wait an­other six to eight months

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY BILL BOW­MAN

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

been ap­proved.

Dis­ap­pointed

“ 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.”

Mis­con­cep­tion

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.

Re­align­ment

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.

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