Long Sault roundabout plan goes ahead

BT Engineering President Steve Taylor, left, and County Engineer Ben de Haan answer questions from county councillors Nov. 16, 2015 on the proposed roundabouts for Long Sault, Ont. County council will be going ahead with the plan for the first roundabout at the intersection of County Road 2 and County Road 35 (Moulinette Road). (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

SD&G – County council has approved the plan for one – possibly two – roundabouts in Long Sault.

BT Engineering President Steve Taylor and County Engineer Ben de Haan were answering some last minute questions from council Monday morning before the vote.

The final vote was 11-1 with Coun. Tammy Hart the lone dissenter.

“This is going to be very difficult for me because I’m going to be going against the vote of my mayor,” said Hart, in asking for a recorded vote. “I have heard nothing good about this from the public.”

Hart said nearly 95 per cent of the people she had spoken with were against the Long Sault roundabout.

“I’m one of those ones who is sick and tired of government that don’t listen to the majority,” said Hart.

The county councilwoman said the concept is right but she was “not totally convinced it’s going to do what you’re telling us it’s going to do…if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”

“It’s a good move for us long term,” said Coun. Jim Bancroft. “I think it’s time we move forward on this issue…we are kind of a guinea pig this time (roundabouts will likely be used elsewhere in SD&G) but that’s okay, we have broad shoulders and we’ll deal with it,” Bancroft said.

Coun. Ian McLeod said the roundabouts “work very well” in other parts of Ontario and Quebec. “One thing we can throw out the window is the cost of traffic lights which are very significant,” he said.

While supporting the plan, Coun. Dennis Fife was still concerned about large trucks getting through the circle. Engineer Steve Taylor said the circle is designed for large trucks to ride up on the edges of the circle.

The county is facing an extensive rebuild of County Road 2 at least $800,000 for asphalt and traffic lights, not including ongoing maintenance costs.

The $1.1 million plan would reduce the road to two lanes from four and add the first roundabout at County Road 35 (Moulinette Road). The life expectancy of the project is over 30 years.

The long term plan is for a second roundabout at County Road 2 and County Road 36 (Mille Roches Road).

The plan now goes to a 30 day public review period.

After that, design and construction would begin, likely sometime in 2016.

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