A very rough CAD illustration of a potential roundabout at Grey Roads 3 and 4. (SUPPLIED)
Grey County hopes a roundabout will cut down on crashes at its most incident-prone intersection.Council approved a staff recommendation at Thursday’s committee of the whole meeting to apply for federal-provincial funding to create the traffic circle at the Grey County Road 3 and 4 intersection east of Hanover. The project is expected to cost nearly $2 million.“It is our highest accident intersection in the county,” transportation services director Pat Hoy said during the meeting. “No intersection is higher on our list than this one as far as safety-related issues.”The West Grey Police Service says there have been 31 collisions within 500 metres of the junction in the past four years alone, even though county staff say there is nothing geometrically wrong with it.Driver error is frequently to blame for the crashes, Hoy said.“Typically, somebody waiting to turn left and there will be a car slipping around on the right and the car trying to turn the other left is T-boning and that sort of thing. So those are the type of accidents we’ve had,” he said.The intersection is large, he added, and vehicles tend to approach it “at high speed.”There are stop signs with flashing lights on the north-south Grey Road 3 at the intersection, but no stop signs on Grey Road 4.County staff believe creating a one-lane roundabout will reduce collisions at that location, he said.“It is good intersection for a roundabout in that there’s actually quite a bit of room there. There’s one house, which we shouldn’t be impeding on. I’m sure there will be some land acquisitions in each corner of some sort to get some illumination and that type of thing,” Hoy said.Grey County is one of 500 communities that are eligible to apply for funding under the cost-sharing Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program: Rural and Northern stream, which is aimed at improving road, bridge, air and marine-related safety.If Grey County’s project is approved, Hoy estimates Ottawa would cover about $910,000 and Queen’s Park would pay about $606,600. The county’s share would be about $423,000.The county is expecting to find out if its application is successful this summer or fall. If it is, the county plans to issue a request-for-proposals for design services later this year and undertake an environmental assessment over winter. Construction would begin in summer 2022.Hoy said the intersection upgrade is currently planned for 2023 under the county’s 10-year capital plan, so receiving the funding would accelerate the work by about a year.He said transportation services staff has already determined, based on traffic counts, that neither signals nor left-turn lanes would be warranted at the intersection.Grey County’s first roundabout was completed in 2009 in the Blue Mountains. A $3-million roundabout at Highway 21 and the Grey-Bruce Line in Alvanley was completed a few years ago.