A roundabout could be on the horizon for Veteran’s Memorial Highway where it intersects Jamie’s Way in Harbour Grace.
Coun. Kevin Williams, chair of the economic development committee, presented a motion that was unanimously accepted by fellow councillors at the Monday, March 11 meeting. The roundabout was recommended in a traffic impact study prepared for a proposed commercial development in Harbour Grace that would include a hotel and strip mall. Harbourside Transport Consultants was responsible for the study.
The single-lane roundabout would be set up where the highway meets Jamie’s Way and Glover Road, the latter of which leads to Earhart Campgrounds.
Mayor Don Coombs told The Compass the roundabout was deemed to be the lowest-cost option to address traffic concerns that might result from establishing the new commercial developments on Jamie’s Way, which would be located on Crown land next to the Danny Cleary Harbour Grace Community Centre.
Veteran’s Memorial Highway has a posted speed limit of 100 km/h, so the introduction of a roundabout would necessitate a speed limit reduction approaching the intersection.
Complaints about the safety of this intersection have been brought to the province’s attention in the past. At a Conception Bay North Joint Council meeting in the fall of 2017, Transportation and Works Minister Steve Crocker said the government would be willing to reduce the speed in that area to 70 km/h. At that time, the government identified that intersection as one of three collision clusters on Veteran’s Memorial Highway where a significant concentration of accidents had occurred in previous years.
“We’ve asked government before if they would reduce the speed, so now the opportunity is there to reduce it with the new roundabout,” the mayor said. “You can’t go in at that at 100 km/h or 70 km/h.”
There are no roundabouts in Conception Bay North, but they are becoming more and more commonplace in the St. John’s metro area.
“They’re normal in a lot of places, but … to us they’re something new,” Coombs said. “I guess change always creeps up.”
Coombs considers the proposed commercial development, which first came before the previous council in the fall of 2016, to be one of several promising items to spur economic growth in Harbour Grace, citing, too, the potential cannabis production facility at the former Terra Nova Shoes factory and the redevelopment of Immaculate Conception Church.