Construction of the Thornhill roundabout is complete

Hillary Johnson

Construction of the roundabout at the intersection of Highway 16 and 37 in Thornhill has finally been completed. The 9.3 million dollar project began last July and was funded, in part, by the 1.7 million dollar contribution from the Government of Canada with the rest coming from the province. This work was part and parcel of the 16.1 million dollar Highway 16 Passing Lanes project. Ministry of Transportation District Manager Dan Baker said construction was slowed last winter, resulting in its completion this summer.

"They had to finish constructing the bypass lane that travels from Highway 16 up to highway 37. There were a couple of traffic islands they had to construct as well. They had to do some top lift paving plus the concrete work in the centrepiece. We have some final painting to do in terms of turn arrows, and some of the markings on the road to finish up might cause a few delays other than that we should be good."

Baker says the most significant challenge with building the new intersection was diverting traffic but explained that this new method is supposed to improve safety.

"We don't have a specific stat on this roundabout, but roundabouts in general statistically reduce crashes by 35 percent, decreased traffic cues, safer for pedestrians and cyclists. From the feedback that I got from community members, it is all positive feedback. There have been very few problems there, and traffic is adapting very well and is much safer."

The project also involved the removal of the weigh scale and relocating the station elsewhere.

"We are actually looking at conceptual designs now. All indications are that it will be located a couple of kilometres east along the highway there, so that's our preferred location."

On the news release from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Terrace Mayor Carol Leclerc mentioned that she had received positive comments on the new roundabout, saying that it presented a bit of a learning curve, but generally speaking, people have been surprised by how easy it is to navigate and how smooth traffic flows.

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