After more than a year of construction, detours and adjustments by drivers, the roundabout at the intersection of Hwy 16 and Hwy 37, replacing a four-way stop, is officially complete.
“I have heard a number of positive comments about the roundabout at the Highway 16/37 intersection,” said Carol Leclerc, mayor, City of Terrace in a news release.
“It presented a bit of a learning curve for some folks at first, but generally speaking, people have been surprised by how easy it is to navigate and how smoothly traffic flows. Even those who were a bit apprehensive about using the roundabout seem to like it. I think it is a great addition to our local highways.”
The roundabout was to have been completed last fall and, partially-finished, opened to traffic in November 2019 when work was halted for the winter. Work resumed this spring to finish contouring of earthworks, paving and line-painting.
The transportation ministry said that it was needed due to increased traffic at the key connection between Terrace, Kitimat and Hwy 16.
The total cost of the project was $9.3 million. The provincial government spent $7.6 million and the federal government added $1.7 million from its New Building Canada Fund.
“This project is proof of our government’s commitment to providing infrastructure that will enhance safety, reduce commute times and create jobs,” said Claire Trevena, B.C.’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure in the release.
“Roundabouts are very important for intersections like this. They allow more vehicles to move through, improve safety and reduce the amount of idling and air pollution.”
The ministry says that roundabouts have several benefits including lower maintenance costs and 90 per cent fewer vehicle fatalities, 76 per cent fewer vehicle injuries and 35 per cent fewer accidents. The province is also billing the roundabout as a way to decrease greenhouse gas emissions because vehicles spend less time idling compared to a four-way stop.