"They're very safe," Jason Rae, a highway design engineer with the Department of Transportation, Infrastructure and Renewal, told Colchester County council this week (June 1).
With a T-intersection, there is a "lot of possibility" for T-collisions, a factor eliminated by a roundabout, he said.
"With a roundabout, cars are going in a circle, people are stopping and merging and going into traffic more safely. So the possibility of a T-collision is almost non-existent."
The roundabout is planned for Robie Street on the northeast side of the Highway 102 overpass.
Beyond the safety aspect, however, one of the main reasons for opting to go with a roundabout to improve the traffic flow at the intersection is that they are more efficient than traffic lights, Rae said.
"In order to put lights in this intersection we would have been forced to go to six lanes on Robie Street to hold the amount of cars that would have been stopped at red lights," he said.
"So to save the province money we come up with the idea of putting a small circle in, maintaining the two-lane cross section on Trunk 2, which is basically the extension of Robie Street that goes underneath the highway."
Another primary function of roundabouts is that they slow vehicles down.
Rae also informed council that large trucks and farm machinery were taken into consideration during the design of the roundabout, so that such vehicles can easily navigate through it.
But drivers will run into difficulty if they don't slow down, council was told.
The speed limit through the roundabout will be 20 to 30 kph per hour, as opposed to 60 or 70 kph.
The roundabout is also intended to make it easier to exit from Meadow Drive onto Robie, even if that means making a right turn and then going through the roundabout, essentially a legal U-turn, to head back into Truro.
"I tell you what," Coun. Bill Masters said during the presentation. "If that solves the issue there it will be the best thing that happened (to the roadway)."
Construction on the project is expected to begin this summer.
Area transportation manager James Webster told council the Robie Street intersection was ranked as the highest priority for attention in Colchester County. The next two priority areas are the other side of the same overpass on Robie Street and the intersection at Main Street and College Road in Bible Hill.
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