BROCKTON – In the words of Coun. Kym Hutcheon, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation’s capital works project on Highway 9 and intersections at Bruce Roads 3 and 4 “can’t happen soon enough.”
The highway, especially at the two intersections, has been the scene of a number of collisions and innumerable close calls, especially during busy summer months.
Gregg Furtney, director of operations, presented an update on the project at the Nov. 9 council meeting.
While work is progressing, Furtney said the MTO is sticking to its original timeline.
“We’re looking at 2023,” he said.
Furtney’s report quoted some statistics provided by Fire Chief Chris Wells.
At the Highway 9/Bruce Road 3 intersection, there have been 20 calls over the past 10 years, including 14 collisions and six extrications.
At the Bruce Road 4 intersection, there have been 14 calls over the past 10 years including 13 collisions and one major extrication.
These were only for Walkerton Fire and Rescue. There may be more for South Bruce OPP and Bruce County EMS that didn’t include the fire department.
Furtney said “things look pretty positive” for the project to make those intersections safer.
His report stated that the preliminary design and environmental assessment for the rehabilitation of Highway 9 from Bruce Road 4 easterly to Walkerton (14.67 km) was initiated this past summer. The scope of the preliminary design includes pavement rehabilitation of Highway 9, drainage improvements, intersection improvements at Bruce Road 3 and Bruce Road 4 and the rehabilitation of the Greenock Creek Bridge.
Subject to funding and approvals, construction is expected to begin in 2023. The MTO has hired GHD, a multinational engineering firm, to facilitate this work which includes the collection and analysis of data related to each segment of the project as well as an intersection study for the safety and operational improvements at the intersections of Bruce Road 3 and Bruce Road 4. The intent of the study is to investigate reasonable intersection improvement alternatives which could include intersection widening, traffic signals, flasher beacons, and screening for a roundabout.
To date, no preferred design has been established.
In response to a question, Mayor Chris Peabody said the county had drafted a letter to the MTO asking for an earlier timeline, but the MTO is sticking to its original plan.
“Yes, we (Brockton) should write a letter,” he said.
One member of council quipped, “We should include a video of a long weekend!”
Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times