Iroquois roundabout construction ahead of schedule

The Iroquois traffic circle as seen from the south side, looking north. Scenes from the roundabout construction tour Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

IROQUOIS – Work on a roundabout at County Road 2 and Carmen Road (County Road 1) has been going so well, it may open weeks ahead of schedule, a county official tells Cornwall Newswatch.

CNW was given a behind-the-scenes tour of the construction site Thursday (Aug. 24) afternoon, where workers were pouring the cement aprons for the new traffic control feature.

The $1.39 million circle was supposed to be done by the end of September. But roads engineer Ben de Haan said paving will likely start the end of this week and then there’s landscaping.

He anticipates it could be open in two to three weeks.

Some of the features in the large circle will include a stone cut wall, with electricity in the centre to allow for Christmas lights, a Christmas tree or other holiday décor.

“It fits the intersection really nicely too,” de Haan said.

De Haan said the construction underway was slow-going in the beginning because the south side of County Roads 1 and 2 was a “spaghetti factory” of underground utilities.

While digging it up, they also found bones. “We had to shut down one area of the job site. We called the police and the police came out and took it (the bones). They did some testing and by the next morning and said it’s non-human,” de Haan said.

The Iroquois roundabout is a little less complex than the ones being built in Long Sault, with fewer features for pedestrians and cyclists, given its rural location. There will be push-button pedestrian crossings just outside the circle.

The roundabout is new ground for the United Counties of SD&G – the first one built in the county.

“It’s very complex and one of the big things with this type of work is the staging. How do you move traffic around, keep traffic going through this area, but still build something that control traffic?,” de Haan said.

The contractor, Willis Kerr of Kemptville, Ont., has experience in building roundabouts.

With a new feature comes new ground for checks and balances and de Haan says that’s covered too.

“Before they start pouring concrete, we look at mix designs and approve mix designs. We make sure the concrete they bring on the site is the right stuff and it’s going to meet the strength we are looking for. We do quality assurance checks. We have an independent tester come in and they take samples of the concrete,” he said.

The weather last week was perfect, de Haan said, as crews were pouring the west concrete island on County Road 2 approaching the circle.

Click on a image below to open a gallery of photos from the construction site.