Safety improvements to 43/7 intersection

A sample design for the new warning system to be installed at the intersection of County Road 43 and County Road 7, south of Chesterville – as presented to SDG Counties Council in June. (Supplied/SDG Counties)

CORNWALL – More safety improvements are going to be installed at an accident-prone intersection near Chesterville. SDG Counties council approved a nearly $30K contract to purchase a conflict warning system for the intersection of County Roads 43 and 7 at their July 17 meeting.

The system, which is the first of its kind to be installed in Eastern Ontario, detects traffic nearing the intersection, and lights up LED signs for approaching traffic from another direction.

The North Dundas intersection has seen a number of collisions in recent years. Counties staff investigated if there were visibility issues that prevented cars stopped from CR 7 from seeing traffic on CR 43. A traffic study presented to SDG council earlier this year offered options including installing a roundabout or traffic lights to mitigate incidents. Both options were more expensive, with a roundabout costing around $2 million.

The new warning system augments existing signage in place at the intersection. Council approved the purchase, which was not accounted for in the 2023 budget. An expected surplus in the Transportation Department will cover the purchase.

Bridge project over budget

SDG Council had to approve an additional $151K in repairs to the County Road 14 bridge at Hoople Creek, just north of Ingleside.

The repairs modernize the 63 year old bridge, which is believed by staff to have never been rehabilitated since construction. The repairs, as part of the larger rehab project, will modernize the bridge, allowing for easier access to the surrounding road. Council approved the additional work, with funds coming from any surplus from road resurfacing this year. The bridge was added to the 2023 capital project list after another bridge project located in Martintown was deferred due to budget concerns.

South Nation River Bridge update

Work on the South Nation River bridge project near Chesterville remains on budget. In fact, the project – when completed – should be under budget.

The County Road 43 bridge has been shuttered since May 23, with all traffic rerouted through Chesterville.

Testing on deck rebar found provisional deck strengthing was unneeded, saving about $150K in the budget. The deck was found to be in good condition overall and only required a small number of patches. The project is scheduled to be completed by November.

Updated numbers to be studied

SDG staff updated numbers presented at a previous meeting as to the number of collisions at the intersection of County Roads 31 and 18 in Williamsburg. Since 2016 there have been 10 reported collisions, four of which took place between January 1 and May 31 this year. Staff had previously reported six collisions in that time period. The revised information was obtained from SD&G OPP collision reports. Staff reported to council that the collision reports are being reviewed, and they will bring a report back to council later this year.

Storm Clean Up eats budget

The April 5 ice storm caused a great deal of damage to trees across much of SDG Counties, including to the Transportation Department’s budget. Since the storm, SDG staff have been working to remove fallen trees and limbs from the right of way.

More than 2,600 labour-hours were used to clean up the 2,000 kilometres of road sides, which was largely completed by June 21. Counties’ crews completed a lot of the work, and outside contractors were used when bucket trucks and specialized gear was needed.

The clean-up also cleaned out most of that department’s budget for the year. Council approved $260,000 last spring in the municipal budget for tree and brush clean up. Clean up from the April Ice Storm wil exceed $225,000.

Other fall out from the ice storm include delays to the roadside mowing program, which is about three weeks behind schedule but could not begin until fallen trees and limbs were cleaned up. Annual spring maintenance to snow clearing equipment was also delayed, as was the installation of tourism signs, and cold patch repairs to roads.

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