Roundabout planning will cost $400K alone

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By Pam Wright
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

If all goes to plan, construction on a new roundabout at the intersection of Queen’s Line and Merlin Road will commence next spring.

At its recent meeting C-K council voted to accept a tender from LEA Consulting Ltd for $401,731, to prepare the engineering design for the West Kent project.

The roundabout’s construction involves two scopes of work. One is to build the actual roundabout, the other is to upgrade the cement bridge over the government drain located near the roundabout.

Several councillors raised concerns that the project had doubled in price, but staff pointed out that was not the case.

Engineering director Marissa Mascaro said the cost of building the roundabout is estimated at $2.6 million, with the cost of rehabilitating the bridge structure set at $2 million.

South Kent Coun. Anthony Ceccacci asked for clarification about the two scopes of work.

Fellow South Kent. Coun. Ryan Doyle also said constituents wanted to know the difference in price between the roundabout and traffic light options.

In her reply, Mascaro said the original estimate in 2021 to reconfigure the busy intersection for a traffic light was $2.9 million, so the roundabout, then set at $2.1 million, was chosen as the less expensive option.

Mascaro said work on the concrete bridge had to be carried out no matter which option was chosen by the municipality.

“The bridge scope of the work is required in either iteration,” Mascaro explained.

Council heard there is some urgency in completing the roundabout work in 2024, as the road will be needed as a detour route when the Ministry of Transportation begins construction in 2025 to upgrade the Bloomfield Road/Highway 401 interchange near Chatham.

“We need to be ready so this intersection can be ready to receive that additional traffic detouring as part of that work,” Mascaro explained.

A concern was also raised by West Kent Coun. Melissa Harrigan that the new roundabout would be able to handle large farming equipment.

Mascaro assured her that it will be able to accommodate agricultural traffic.

Public education about how to use the roundabout will also be carried out prior to it becoming operational, Mascaro added.

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