A permanent fix to Oyster Bed Bridge traffic woes
Investing in infrastructure
A planned roundabout will mean the end of an intersection residents of Oyster Bed Bridge consider a hazard to the lives and safety of travelers.
This month, the Prince Edward Island government issued a tender for construction of a new roundabout at the intersection of routes 6, 7 and 251 in Oyster Bed Bridge. This work was among $6.65 million in bridge and road tenders announced March 8.
In total, the Prince Edward Island government has budgeted $42 million in capital improvements to roads and bridges for the 2018-19 construction season.
Sylvia Matheson said the Oyster Bed Bridge Women’s Institute asked government for action to improve safety in the area.
“We know that there are close calls at this intersection and we have all observed terrible scenarios where there could have been fatalities,” said Matheson, who serves as the institute’s secretary.
“It’s unbelievable in the summer. There are incredible numbers of tourists in the area while farmers are still on the road with equipment. The traffic can be really heavy and people don’t seem to see the stop signs before they are in the intersection.
Matheson, who has lived in the area for more than 50 years, said she has seen provincial officials install a variety of safety measures but that the intersection’s problems have continued. She said speed bumps, signs and warning lights have all been installed with little change.
“There’s almost every indicator they could put there to slow drivers - except four-way traffic lights. Even though it’s a 60 km speed people tend to speed through there,” she said.
“People that work in the store at the intersection talk about horns blaring and tires screeching.”
Government expects to have the work completed before the busy summer tourism season.
“It is a top priority for the Government of Prince Edward Island to invest in infrastructure that lets people and product get safely where they need to go,” said Paula Biggar, minister of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy.
“It is important to work with our communities as we work to ensure safe transportation for Islanders and visitors to our province.”
Matheson said she’s confident that the announced work, including a roundabout and road realignment, will finally tame the traffic situation in Oyster Bed Bridge.
“We were pretty impressed with the work that’s been done and the design,” she said. “We really hope it will solve the problem.”