'Dangerous' Sydney intersection to get upgrades, including traffic lights

'Dangerous' Sydney intersection to get upgrades, including traffic lights

The province says it will install traffic lights and turning lanes at a busy Sydney, N.S., intersection in an area where there's been multiple crashes in the past five years.

Grand Lake Road is part of the Sydney-Glace Bay highway and the intersection will be installed at Yolanda Drive near the Kytes Hill subdivision. The work will include turning lanes to get onto Yolanda Drive from Grand Lake Road.

Wanda Bruckswaiger and her husband live on nearby Kytes Hill Drive and have been lobbying for years to have traffic lights installed in the area.

"We don't need any more deaths on the highway and if this can clear up the situation, then that's the answer," she said.

Fatal history

John MacLeod MacDonald died in September 2012 when his motorcycle was struck by a vehicle at Kytes Hill Drive. That section of road is now closed, which means traffic is now concentrated on Yolanda Drive to get in and out of the subdivision.

Bruckschwaiger said the turning lanes will be a big improvement over the present-day situation.

"It's mostly dangerous because people are coming up behind you, they're not noticing that your brake lights are on," she said. "That's when people are getting hit from behind, so you really have to be cautions when you want to turn into the subdivision."

Construction work could begin next year

The province had been considering a number of options for the intersection, including installing a roundabout.

Transportation Minister Geoff MacLellan said the province hopes to put the project out to tender this fall and construction work should begin next year.

He said the work will make it easier for people to exit the Kytes Hill subdivision.

"You'll have that ability for those coming out of the Kytes Hill subdivision to get access to the highway by way of lights, rather than now which is basically wait for an opening and go for it," said MacLellan.

"That's a tricky and dangerous proposition for anyone."

MacLellan said the project is expected to cost $2 million.

Coal shipment concerns

Jim MacLeod is the regional councillor for the area and drives on Grand Lake Road every day. 

"It's a very dangerous situation here. Kytes Hill Drive was cut off and Yolanda Drive became the enter and exit with no turning lane coming in from Glace Bay or coming out to Sydney," he said.

Cape Breton Centre MLA Dave Wilton said the work needs to be done as soon as possible to prepare for coal being transported on the highway from the Donkin mine.

"I had a number of calls from concerned residents about the coal trucks that are going to start using the road here," he said.