HRM to consider $3.5M roundabout for crash-plagued Dartmouth intersection

Halifax Regional Municipality staff reports recommend installing a roundabout at a Dartmouth intersection where there have been frequent collisions in recent years, but don’t recommend the same thing for an intersection in Lower Sackville that has also seen many accidents.

The first report recommends installing a $3.5-million roundabout where Highway 118, Woodland Drive, Micmac Boulevard and Lancaster Drive meet. The latter two roads provide access to and from Mic Mac Mall and a subdivision, respectively.

Provincial data shows that 30,000 vehicles a day use the intersection. There have been 49 collisions in the immediate area between 2014 and 2018.

“We seem to average a crash every month there, so it is an intersection that needs something,” said Coun. Sam Austin.

An engineering consultant looked at six different options for improving safety, including a loop ramp to avoid making a left-hand turn, as well a protected left-turn light. The only option the consultant recommended was the roundabout. The report also said provincial officials in the Transportation Department indicated they were supportive of this option.

Austin said he thinks a roundabout will tackle a couple issues.

“You won’t have any serious accidents where someone is turning left and a car crashes into them, and a roundabout will force people to reduce their speed along Woodland Avenue,” he said.

Halifax staff are recommending against putting a roundabout at the Old Sackville Road and Beaver Bank Connector intersection in Lower Sackville because of the road grades. (Google Maps)

Since the intersection is located where both the city and the province share jurisdiction, the two levels of government will have to work together on a construction plan. The project will also mean acquiring slivers of private land.

In the meantime, as an interim safety measure, the report also recommends installing new signage in an attempt to improve safety conditions.

Meanwhile, a review of an intersection in Lower Sackville concluded that a roundabout should not be built. A consultant looked at the intersection of the Beaver Bank Connector and Old Sackville Road, and concluded a roundabout would not be feasible because of the road grades in the area.

More than 30,000 vehicles use this intersection each day. Between 2014 and 2018, there were 32 collisions.

The staff report said shortly after the review began, the Transportation Department made changes to the traffic signals, which seem to have improved the situation. Additional signage is also recommended.

Both reviews go to regional council on Tuesday for approval.

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