SHELBURNE - Highway 103 roadwork has begun at Exit 26 in Shelburne to improve safety, although the Shelburne Volunteer Fire Department chief is doubtful all of the safety risks will be addressed even after the work is completed.
While the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal says safety will be greatly improved, fire chief Darrell Locke believes the intersection will remain a dangerous risk for accidents.
“You still have to cross 100-kilometres-an-hour traffic when going across the highway,” says Locke.
He also worries the risk to drivers turning left onto Highway 103 (heading towards Yarmouth) from the Tim Hortons side of the exit will remain even after the intersection upgrades. He says drivers will always need to be alert.
“Everyone has to be careful and use extreme caution,” says Locke.
He says there have been a high number of accidents at the intersection while he has served on the fire department, including fatalities.
The work that has begun this month at the intersection is expected to be completed in February 2018, says Brian Taylor, media relations advisor for the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.
Currently a crew is onsite getting prepped for the project, which includes clearing the area for widening and conducting survey work, says Taylor.
The intersection will see acceleration and de-acceleration lanes added. There will also be a full channelization of the intersection so drivers can have a turning lane when pulling off the Ohio Road side of the exit.
A raised concrete island will help to safely direct traffic leaving both sides of Highway 103 on the Ohio road.
Taylor says as with any project of this nature, delays should be expected in the upcoming months while construction takes place.
“Traffic control is an important part of the project,” says Taylor. “The plan will be designed to minimize delays for the public as much as possible.”