Published on July 26, 2012
A construction zone begins sign sits on Pitts Memorial Drive about 100 metres from a sign stating the zone ends (background). — Photo by Keith Gosse/The Telegram
Published on July 26, 2012
A covered speed limit sign sits next to the highway on Pitts Memorial Drive near the Trans-Canada Highway. — Photo by Keith Gosse/The Telegram
Motorists travelling to and from Conception Bay South are going through a bit of a twilight zone where Pitts Memorial meets the Manuels Access Road.
On a very small section of the Route 2 — Trans-Canada Highway interchange, construction zone signs and warnings of fines were posted weeks ago, but the reduced speed limit signage is covered with black garbage bags and there’s no obvious construction.
Motorists are left wondering whether or not to slow down on the busy highway.
“It’s not posted you have to reduce your speed. It does seem somewhat confusing and pointless as to why they have it there,” says Shawn Barnes, a Conception Bay South resident who travels that stretch of road daily.
Although the drivers The Telegram spoke to have seen little or no activity, construction has been taking place — under the interchange.
“The nature of this project is innovative and it is designed to carry out the work while minimizing traffic interruption in this busy area,” a spokesperson for Transportation and Works said in an emailed statement.
“In this project, a new liner was inserted into the existing culvert without the use of the traditional dig-and-replace method, which would have been more disruptive to traffic.”
According to the department, the signs had to be put up in advance of the work and will remain there until the project is complete.
However, because the temporary speed limit signs are covered, drivers can travel at the regular posted speed.
“These temporary signs are required by regulation, but may be covered when the contractor deems a reduced speed to be unnecessary, for example when no workers are present on site,” the department says.
Transportation and Works reminds drivers to obey the posted speed limits.
“Some motorists drive their cars at unacceptably high speeds when travelling through construction zones,” the department’s statement said.
“This is a very dangerous practice that puts the driver, other motorists, and construction workers at risk.”
Fines for speeding in a construction zone range from $100 for a first offence to a maximum of $1,500.
Meanwhile, the department says the new liner is in place under the interchange and the contractor is preparing to finish the project by placing grout between it and the original culvert.