Blyth intersection tender review set for 2022/2023
BY DENNY SCOTT
Huron County has released the draft terms of reference for the upgrade of the intersection of County Roads 4 and 25, and the intersection of County Road 83 and Airport line near Exeter.
While the estimated schedule for the project will be based on the construction tenders, the review of those tenders is expected for either January of 2022 or January of 2023, meaning changes to the two intersections won’t happen until, at the earliest, 2022.
The terms of reference include 16 tasks to be addressed to complete the project, starting in March of next year with a review of the engineering reports completed on the intersections. The tasks that follow include traffic counts, discussions with direct stakeholders and local farmers, determination of the preferred project for each location and issuing tenders for the projects.
The draft document addresses some of the complications with modifying the intersection of County Roads 4 and 25, calling it “unique in its geometry” and citing aspects like the super-elevated slope of County Road 4 in the area.
Recent “significant” commercial development and expected further developments, as well as what impact development has on the traffic count, are listed as reasons for the work to be considered, as well as other factors like the Goderich-to-Guelph (G2G) rail trail and ongoing residential construction.
“A preliminary review of this intersection and recent traffic counts indicate this intersection approaches or meets justification for an upgrade based on traffic volumes,” the document states.
Nine areas of focus for guiding the design were included in the document including improving turning movements at the intersection; providing safe travel for pedestrians and cyclists and working with Blyth Cowbell Brewing Company Ltd. Tim Hortons, Huron Tractor and the Ultramar gas station.
The final area of focus is to work within a safe systems approach to mitigate injuries and damage. During a recent Blyth Business Improvement Area (BIA) meeting, Public Works Manager Mike Hausser explained that a safe systems approach involves making roads safer by design to mitigate any problems before they happen.
Hausser explained that, in the safe systems approach, engineers are assuming “drivers will be drivers” and there will be some who are good and some who aren’t.
“The question then is how do we design roadways so it is more resilient to that kind of driver error?” he said.
Watch The Citizen for more information on the ongoing process of modifying the intersection.