Traffic lights at Campbell River’s top crash site will be replaced starting this Friday.
The new traffic signals, complete with dedicated left turn lanes, are being installed at the Dogwood Street and 16th Avenue intersection.
Drew Hadfield, the city’s transportation manager, said the intersection is arguably the city’s most dangerous, which prompted ICBC to provide a road safety grant of $92,300 towards the replacement and upgrade of the lights.
“This intersection is currently the top crash site in Campbell River, with 46 ICBC reported claims in the five years from 2011 to 2015,” Hadfield said. “As such, ICBC will assist with funding these improvements. Nearly half the value of the work is funded through a grant from ICBC.”
During installation of the new system, drivers can expect traffic disruptions up until early April when the work is expected to be complete. Traffic controllers will direct vehicles and pedestrians through the intersection as the traffic lights will not be operating during construction. Drivers can also expect temporary lane closures, as construction will require two travel lanes to be narrowed down to a single lane.
“Drivers should expect some delays at this intersection and are reminded to proceed with caution in the construction zone,” Hadfield said. “If possible, please use an alternative route.”
City council approved the new traffic signals last November, allocating $197,650 to help improve safety at Dogwood and 16th.
“This is long overdue for this intersection,” Coun. Charlie Cornfield said at the time. “I think improving the safety of the intersection is very important.”
The intersection is particularly treacherous and difficult to navigate because, unlike the traffic lights installed more than five years ago along the Dogwood corridor, north and southbound drivers turning left have to make their turn while oncoming traffic also has a green light.
The new traffic lights, however, will have advance green left-turn arrows in all four directions, as well as left turn lanes in all directions. For north and southbound traffic, there will be new left-turn only lanes. The lane designations for east and westbound traffic, which already include left-turn only lanes, will remain the same.
Coun. Michele Babchuk said in November, when council approved the traffic light upgrade project to Raylec Power LP – the same provider of the Dogwood lights installed between Merecroft and 9th in 2010 – that it will be nice to have Dogwood and 16th follow the same pattern as those lights.
“It’s one of the (Service Level Change Requests) that I’m happy to see go forward so that our traffic lights are starting to resemble each other in some way, shape or form,” Babchuk said. “I know that intersection, ever since Wal Mart got in, 16th has become a bit more of a thoroughfare. It’s a welcome change.”
In addition to the new left-turn arrows and lanes, other improvements coming to the intersection include new: traffic controller and box, signal timing, bases and poles, street name signs, traffic signal heads, LED luminaires, accessible pedestrian system, pedestrian countdown timers and emergency vehicle pre-emption system
City of Campbell River photo
This sketch shows the safety upgrades happening at the Dogwood and 16th Avenue intersection. The upgrades will provide left turn lanes and in all four directions and advance green arrows.