First highway roundabout to be put to the test
HE first roundabout on a major highway in Manitoba is scheduled to open next week near Oak Bluff, and the Manitoba government is reminding drivers to proceed with caution.
“It’s the first time we’re going to try this (on a major highway). We’re going to monitor this as a department. We think this is really an exciting and innovative way of moving traffic without putting lights up, and it allows traffic to keep flowing,” Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler said Friday, while announcing a series of changes to the southern section of the
The province has sent out mailers to people who live near the roundabout, reminding drivers how to enter, exit and signal properly. Once the roundabout is open, crews will begin work on 24 other intersections along the south Perimeter Highway from Fermor to Portage avenues, affecting median openings and road access. The end goal is to make traffic flow smoother and safer, which means eliminating some stop signs and left-turning in some intersections. The $19-million safety plan is expected to be finished by 2022, Schuler said.
Two of the most “troubling” and high-priority intersections are the crossings at Oakland Road (on the north edge of Oak Bluff) and Brady Road, according to the minister.
The intersection at Oakland Road, in particular, “is the most dangerous intersection and one of the reasons why we started this entire safety review,” Schuler said, noting a serious accident that occurred there last year.
The province is expecting the results of a long-term study by next winter on how to improve the southern Perimeter Highway, which may include widening the roadway with up to six lanes and eliminating traffic lights.