Construction zone puzzling motorists

Steve Bartlett
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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.

Twitter: @SteveBartlett_

Organizations: Route 2, Trans-Canada Highway

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Recent comments

  • Scott Free
    July 26, 2012 - 12:22

    Better yet...use just two "Contruction Zone" signs; one at the ferry terminal in Port aux Basques, and another one at Signal Hill. We have over a trillion potholes provincewide. And, reduce the highway speed limit from 100 km/hr. to 40; that way, most motorists will drive @ 100 km/hr.

  • Mike Reader
    July 26, 2012 - 11:08

    We need to do better then this. I take this route each day and have yet to see someone working there. instead of looking at the signs in newfoundland I now look for workers. If none are in sight I often continue at my current speed. I'm sure many follow suit. Why have signs that are incorrect and few read???

  • Jeff
    July 26, 2012 - 10:50

    Here's an idea, move the signs a few clicks down past the Ruth Ave. exit and have someone fix the giant craters in the road.

  • redrantingtory
    July 26, 2012 - 09:35

    I have been wondering about this site for a few weeks now. When they put the signs up first they were at it for a few days. The signs were up but seemed to be in the wrong place so they moved them. They were there for a few weeks with no one working in the area. The signs were up but the speed limit was covered. Now they are working off to the right of the TCH and still the speed signs are covered. Could it get any more confusing? What is it with construction signage here? Yes we need it and the speeds should be obeyed. However there needs to me some organization to it. They leave the signs up even when they are not working. I have driven through dozens of sights with not a soul to be seen especially on weekends. Then there is the confusing signs. Where does contruction start? Where does it end as there is usualy never a sign to tell you the zone ends. Then there is the speed limit change. Sometimes there is no advance notice. You come upon a contruction zone and te speed drops from a hundred to 50 with no notice. Overall every contruction zone seems to be set up differently thus making it more confusing. It's time they all did it the same and took down the signs when not being used as it is making drivers complacient and some are ignoring it. I can see this sight out there when and if they have to uncover the speedlimit signs. Driver will speed on through and they will wonder why? Yes driver should be paying attention but we all know what some drivers are like.

  • Jen
    July 26, 2012 - 07:48

    Isn't it as obvious to everyone else as it is to me? The worker who takes down the signs must be on vacation!

  • Greg
    July 26, 2012 - 07:47

    I've noticed a lot of issues with construction signage in Nfld, like no where else in Canada. In my experience, if there are construction signs erected, there's less than a 50% chance of a road crew or equipment in sight. Especially on the weekend. I've come to ignore them, and notice others doing the same as they whizz by me on the highway. I get the feeling they are to lazy to take them down, or they don't have a plan, or they simply don't understand proper protocols and regulations. I assume it will take a fatal car accident to create a change. So much for safety first. Your tax dollars hard at work.

  • gb
    July 26, 2012 - 07:35

    There are regulations and standards for the usage of these traffic control devices. They are not being followed and obviously there are no consequences for the offenders. The municipalites of Mount Pearl and St. John's are awful. Maybe if the wrong person gets seriously injured because of the lackadasical usage of these signs and the municipality is succesfully sued for millions of dollars wil they wake up and place the appropraite signs at the right place at the right time. I have been driving on Columbus Drive when I saw signs that my lane was closed ahead and I have to merge into the other lane only to see that both lanes are open.Hundreds of vehicles slowing and merging for no reason! No flagmen or work crews in sight!!!

  • Wolf WOlf
    July 26, 2012 - 07:27

    The speed limit sings should be covered more often when there is no one present or there is nothing like gouges and potholes present. The construction signs should be up for as limited time as possible. If these are kept up too much, they become like the boy who cried wolf and no one pays attention.