THE TENDER HAS BEEN CALLED. Safety at the Masstown Market intersection has been a concern for employees, local drivers, tourists and other motorists for a number of years. As the Market expands and attracts more visitors, the issue of traffic flow has become more apparent.
2016 reports show that over one million people stopped at the Masstown Market and I want to congratulate the Jennings’ family for providing quality service and products designed to meet consumers’ demands. With the addition of gas bar, Greco Pizza and Tim Horton’s the number of visitors will continue to grow. A newly planned expansion is now underway and this too will provide additional attractions to the site.
I have met frequently with Department of Transportation staff both at Bible Hill and the Minister’s office in Halifax. Various options have been considered and some short term solutions have been tried. These include signage regarding the busy intersection, reduced speed limit on the # 4 approaches to the intersection, concrete island and curb, as well as no parking signs on the # 2. What appears to have contributed to many of the accidents at the intersection is speed of traffic on the # 4 and driver inattention at the stop signs from the # 2 and from the 104 off ramp.
One solution that will respond to both of those concerns is a Roundabout. The Five Year Capital Plan released by the provincial government in January of 2017 committed to the installation of a Roundabout and the tender has been called for this project to begin this spring. In order to limit the inconvenience that any road construction will have, the contractor, upon successful bid on the tender, will have work restrictions with respect to hours of work, lane closures and nighttime work. Construction period will be a 3 month period (April, May, June) with a bonus to the contractor for early completion. This will incent the contractor to be as efficient and effective as possible recognizing the inconvenience in the short term that this will cause all of us.
A second part of the tender calls for widening of Trunk 2, including turning lanes, from the intersection easterly 0.3 kms towards Masstown.
The Five Year Plan includes asphalt paving on the # 2 (Masstown) from Masstown Market to MacElmon Road (6.4 kms). This work will also include paved widening of the shoulders, as this section of Trunk 2 has been identified as part of the Provincial Blue Route.
As your MLA and one who travels this road on a regular basis, I understand there will be inconveniences in the short term and I ask for your patience during the construction period. I do believe that this is a necessary project in order to provide a safer travel route for those who commute to Truro and beyond via the 104, to those who work at the Masstown Market, to local residents and to the many visitors who enjoy shopping at the Market. Contract completion is set for June 30, 2017. Thanks for your understanding.
Karen Casey, MLA