News

New roundabout in Lake Cowichan to smooth traffic flow, curb accidents

Traffic flows through the roundabout on Drinkwater Road last summer shortly after it was opened. Lake Cowichan is next in line for one of the ubiquitous traffic circles. - Andrew Leong/file
Traffic flows through the roundabout on Drinkwater Road last summer shortly after it was opened. Lake Cowichan is next in line for one of the ubiquitous traffic circles.
— image credit: Andrew Leong/file

A new roundabout at Lake Cowichan’s intersection of South Shore Road and North Shore Road

has Mayor Ross Forrest smiling.

Especially because Victoria will pay half the cost of the ring, priced between $500,000 and $1 million.

“There have been accidents there, but nothing fatal.

“Safety-wise, convenience-wise it’s a bad intersection. This was our main priority spot; first on our list,” he said of the roundabout. Exact costs will surface with design completion.

“We’ve had discussions with (transportation ministry) for quite a while,” said Forrest, noting pedestrian safety too.

“Back as far as 2005, a study was done showing it warranted an upgrade there. Traffic has also increased in town in the past few years.”

That project will also see the province pay $1.8 million to resurface about three kilometres of South Shore Road between Youbou Road and Peterson Road.

Twinning resurfacing work with roundabout construction will reduce traffic snarls and save money, a ministry release states.

Work on both projects is to begin in the spring, and is expected to finish in the summer.

This work follows the streetscaping improvements done by the Town of Lake Cowichan, as part of its Downtown Revitalization plan.

Design and engineering plans for the roundabout are underway, with final project details expected early next year.

Provincial numbers show roundabouts boost safety and traffic flow by moving vehicles efficiently through busy areas.

They also decrease the amount and severity of collisions in conventional signalized intersections.

Roundabouts also reduce traffic idling, improving air quality, and reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, the province says.

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