Highway 3 roundabout nears completion

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The new roundabout at the intersection of Highway 3 and Vienna Road in Tillsonburg is nearing completion.

"Remaining work at Highway 3 and Vienna Road includes some final paving, as well as pavement markings, traffic signs, illumination work, and site cleanup," said Liane Fisher, Communications Coordinator, Ministry of Transportation – West Region, in an email Friday.

"Weather permitting, we expect the paving and pavement marking work to take place next weekend. The roundabout can open once the line painting work is complete."

Stage I saw construction on the south side, with traffic flowing north; Stage II the reverse; Stage III set the inner circle with entry and exiting maintained for eastbound traffic; Stage IV moved eastbound traffic through the roundabout while completing the inner curb and gutter; Stage V completed the island medians. The sixth and final stage would be paving.

"This is a single lane roundabout to match the intersecting roads," Fisher noted. "A concrete apron provides additional room for larger trucks and also helps to protect and identify the centre island."

While roundabouts are not new, they may be unfamiliar to some drivers. Fisher offered a few tips for drivers as they become accustomed to driving through roundabouts.

· Stay alert for signing on the highway indicating that the roundabout is approaching.

· Please be patient and share the road.

· Review the latest information for driving safely through roundabouts at www.ontario.ca/roundabout. The MTO website includes a helpful video.

Some basic rules:

Slow down as you approach the roundabout. Keep to the right of the splitter island.

Watch for vehicles already in the roundabout, including cyclists.

Traffic in the roundabout always has the right-of-way. Entering vehicles must always yield.

In the roundabout, travel in a counterclockwise direction (turn right).

Do not stop within the roundabout.

Use your right-turn signal when exiting the roundabout.

If you miss your exit, continue around the roundabout again and exit.

"Roundabouts have fewer conflict points where collisions can occur than signalized intersections," said Fisher. "Eliminating these conflict points reduces all types of collisions, keeps traffic moving continuously and effectively, and reduces noise, air pollutants and fuel consumption."

Roundabouts along this section of Highway 3 were designed to accommodate large trucks, she said, including transporting wind turbine blades, farm equipment, cyclists and pedestrians.

London, Ont. recently opened its 25th roundabout, and its first with multiple lanes. But it won't be the last – the city is already preparing plans for other multi-lane roundabouts.

-- with QMI and MTO files.


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