Qualicum Beach’s Memorial Roundabout will open to traffic tomorrow (Dec. 2) after 10 months of work.
All traffic detours will be removed, including the temporary four-way stop at Crescent Road and Memorial Avenue, according to a media release from the Town of Qualicum Beach.
The intersection is the primary point of access to the waterfront and has historically experienced a high collision rate and a difficult left turn for motorists attempting to travel westbound onto Highway 19A, the town said.
“Roundabouts have been shown to reduce the number, and especially the severity, of collisions between motor vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists,” said Bob Weir, the town’s director of engineering and capital projects. “The recently completed Memorial Multi-Use Pathway and Waterfront Walkway also will bring more pedestrians and cyclists to this intersection, which means the safety benefits the roundabout offers are even more consequential.”
The roundabout culminates the Memorial Avenue corridor upgrades, which have received approximately $2 million in funding to date. Funding for the roundabout specifically was received from the ICBC Road Improvement Program in the amount of $82,700, according to the town.
“The Memorial Avenue roundabout is an important project that offers significant benefits, particularly for pedestrians, cyclists, persons with disabilities and other active modes of transportation. This project has been identified as a high priority in the town’s Age-Friendly Transportation Plan and goes a long way to support the town’s Waterfront Master Plan objective to calm traffic along the waterfront,” Mayor Brian Wiese said.
The roundabout conversion will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions that result from vehicles idling, stopping and starting, the town said.
The closure allowed crews uninterrupted access to the site and permitted necessary protocols to be followed, including the Department of Fisheries window, which restricted work on the foreshore and creek during the summer months. It also allowed for the respectful collaboration with First Nations partners during excavation, according to the town.
Remaining work to occur on the project includes permanent line markings and centre island landscaping, which is set to be completed in spring 2022. Residents can anticipate single-lane alternating traffic to facilitate the spring work.