First high­way round­about to be put to the test

Winnipeg Free Press - - NEWS I MANITOBA - JES­SICA BOTELHO-URBANSKI jes­sica.botelho@freep­ Twit­ter: @_jessbu

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

TPerime­ter High­way.

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.

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