Ament/ Her­rgott in­ter­sec­tion to be­come a round­about

The Woolwich Observer - - NEWS - FAISAL ALI VERON­ICA REINER

CON­STRUC­TION OF A NEW round­about at a St. Cle­ments in­ter­sec­tion deemed dan­ger­ous by res­i­dents should get un­der­way next week.

A de­ci­sion last week by re­gional coun­cil to award the work to E&E Seeg­miller Ltd. – a con­tract worth $1.7 mil­lion – cleared the fi­nal hur­dle to up­grad­ing the in­ter­sec­tion of Ament Line and Her­rgott Road.

A long­stand­ing con­cern for res­i­dents of Welles­ley Town­ship since a fa­tal col­li­sion that claimed the life of five-year-old Emma Rin­grose in 2005, the in­ter­sec­tion was ap­proved for a round­about in late 2016

Ac­cord­ing to re­gional po­lice records, be­tween 2011 and 2016, there were on av­er­age 2.7 col­li­sions at the in­ter­sec­tion a year, reach­ing a max­i­mum of five col­li­sions in 2014. There was ex­actly one col­li­sion recorded each year in that time pe­riod that re­sulted in per­sonal in­juries, while a fa­tal­ity oc­curred in 2015. Ac­cord­ing to the re­gion’s direc­tor of de­sign and con­struc­tion, Phil Bauer, there have been two fa­tal col­li­sions at that in­ter­sec­tion since 2005.

The cost of round­about is es­ti­mated at just over $2 mil­lion, a sig­nif­i­cantly higher amount than the four-way stop sign the re­gion had ini­tially sug­gested in­stalling in­stead. Res­i­dents re­jected the rec­om­men­da­tion as a Band-Aid so­lu­tion.

Ad­dress­ing re­gional staff and town­ship coun­cil­lors at a Welles­ley coun­cil meet­ing on Nov. 15, 2016, Pam Rin­grose, Emma’s IT’S NOT CANADA’S 150TH, but the start of sum­mer is a pretty good rea­son for a bar­be­cue. Welles­ley Town­ship is do­ing just that next week, host­ing its sec­ond an­nual Back­yard BBQ com­mu­nity event.

While last year the event was or­ga­nized on Canada Day, this year the date is set for June 22. It will fea­ture fire­works, food, fun, and more. It will also fea­ture live mu­sic from the clas­sic rock band Crack­er­jack Palace, who played at the event last year.

“Yeah, we’re def­i­nitely look­ing for­ward to play­ing at the bar­be­cue,” said Grand Hey­wood, who plays drums and lead vo­cals in the band. “Ob­vi­ously be­ing I’m from Welles­ley Town­ship, there will be a lot of peo­ple there that we know. I know Joe Nowak, the mayor. And let’s face it; it’s a small town, so you get to know a lot of peo­ple. It’ll be a great event.”

“It was done for the first time last year as a Canada 150 cel­e­bra­tion and a com­mu­nity gath­er­ing,” added Darryl Denny, the town­ship’s chief build- ing of­fi­cial. “There is no ad­mis­sion price. Food and bev­er­ages are paid for this year.”

Or­ga­niz­ers ex­pect the turnout to be sim­i­lar to last year, when an es­ti­mated 1,200 peo­ple at­tended.

“Weather pend­ing, we’ll see some­thing sim­i­lar, maybe a bit less than that,” said Denny. “The more, the mer­rier, re­ally.”

“We re­ally hope the turnout will be the same,” said Amy Har­ron, ad­min­is­tra­tive as­sis­tant at the Town­ship of Welles­ley. “We will have ham­burg­ers, hot dogs and sausage for sale, as well as a com­mu­nity in­for­ma­tion fo­rum. All de­part­ments will be rep­re­sented at the com­mu­nity fo­rum along with com­mu­nity or­ga­ni­za­tions.”

There are plenty of other fea­tures at the event, such as a touch truck.

“That’s some­thing for the kids where they can crawl in and out of the ve­hi­cles in­clud­ing a po­lice cruiser, dump trucks, and fire trucks as well,” said Denny.

Mem­bers of the band are pri­mar­ily lo­cal. They play a va­ri­ety of mu­sic, in­clud­ing covers of The Rolling Stones, The Bea­tles, Steely Dan and the Ea­gles. Ac­cord­ing to Hey­wood, they pre­fer to do these types of events.

“We do a lot of fundraiser stuff,” said Hey­wood. “We’re do­ing one for Strat­ford in Novem­ber for a hospice. I think this is our sixth or sev­enth year in Ban­croft, On­tario where we raise money for a lo­cal hospice there. The rea­son why it’s Ban­croft is that Danny, our bass player, is from there. We don’t play ho­tels at all – we’re not a band to go out and play bars or that sort of thing, we do fundrais­ing type of events. “

While ad­mis­sion is free for the Back­yard BBQ, or­ga­niz­ers would ap­pre­ci­ate a do­na­tion to the food bank. There are also sev­eral paid events, in­clud­ing the bar­be­cue from 5 to 8 p.m. and a cash bar.

“Es­sen­tially, all are wel­come,” said Denny. “It’s an ex­cel­lent fam­ily-ori­ented event with a lot of the com­mu­nity com­ing to­gether in one place hosted by the mu­nic­i­pal­ity. We hope to see lots of peo­ple out.”

The Back­yard BBQ is set for June 22, run­ning from 5 to 11 p.m. at the town­ship ad­min­is­tra­tive build­ing, 4639 Lob­singer Line in Crosshill. Any­one in­ter­ested in learn­ing more can visit www.welles­ley.ca.

mother, stressed the ne­ces­sity of a round­about for the in­ter­sec­tion.

“Ob­vi­ously, the rum­ble strips and the signs aren’t enough. The all-way stop isn’t go­ing to help ei­ther,” she said.

“It sick­ens me to know our ef­forts have been in vain. Col­li­sions con­tinue to oc­cur and an­other life has been lost. I don’t want to see any more of our money wasted on Band-Aid so­lu­tions. A round­about is what is needed to save lives. The re­search has been done. To ig­nore that fact is putting peo­ple’s lives at risk.”

The project will re­quire hy­dro and gas util­i­ties to be re­lo­cated, storm sewer sys­tem con­struc­tion and new paving.

“On the out­side of the curb lines we are con­struct­ing a wide paved shoul­der that will act as a multi-use trail for pedes­tri­ans or cy­clists,” noted Bauer.

“It is also an­tic­i­pated that some buggy users will feel more com­fort­able strad­dling the paved shoul­der or driv­ing on it en­tirely un­til they get to the round­about. The curb and gut­ter at this lo­ca­tion will be semi-mount­able with an ex­posed ag­gre­gate fin­ish (eas­ier for horses to cross with­out slip­ping).

“On the south leg of Her­rgott Road there is a ver­ti­cal curve that has sub­stan­dard sight­lines for im­ple­men­ta­tion of a round­about. We are ‘shav­ing’ down the crest of this hill to meet the de­sign cri­te­ria,” he added.

Work is sched­uled to be­gin this com­ing Mon­day, and be sub­stan­tially com­plete by Au­gust 31.

[FILE PHOTO]

Last year’s Welles­ley bar­be­cue drew in an up­wards of 1,200 at­ten­dees. Or­ga­niz­ers ex­pect this year’s turnout to be sim­i­lar.

[VERON­ICA REINER / THE OBSERVER]

Crack­er­jack Palace (top) will play at the town­ship Back­yard BBQ event next week. The group in­cludes Tom El­liott (lead vo­cals and gui­tar), Danny Munro (vo­cals, gui­tar and bass) and Grant Hey­wood (drums, lead vo­cals and man­dolin).

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