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Blackmarsh Road intersection to be revamped

Motorists at the Blackmarsh Road and Captain Whelan Drive intersection on Tuesday afternoon.
Motorists at the Blackmarsh Road and Captain Whelan Drive intersection on Tuesday afternoon. - Joe Gibbons

Redesign is latest in myriad of changes in St. John’s-area roads

The Blackmarsh Road-Captain Whelan Drive intersection will be revamped in the coming months after the city issued a request for proposals (RFP) for a new plan for the area.

The RFP, which closes on Jan. 8, seeks an engineering firm to design a reconfigured intersection. The detailed design for the project will be due by the end of this winter, with a construction tender to be issued in the spring.

It will be up to tender bidders to determine the total cost of the project.

Currently, Blackmarsh Road and Captain Whelan Drive come to an intersection at a roughly 45-degree angle. Blackmarsh continues to its intersection with Empire Avenue, while Captain Whelan comes to an end.

The new proposal will see Blackmarsh road diverted, just west of the Westfield condominiums, and come to a four-way intersection with Captain Whelan Drive and Hamlyn road.

The existing part of Blackmarsh Road that extends from Capitan Whelan Drive to Westfield will become an extension of Welland Street, with a gentler eastbound intersection than currently exists.

The proposal also notes that public engagement will be factored into the decision of what the new Welland Street-Captain Whelan Drive intersection will look like.

The city outlines that a pedestrian or multi-use intersection between Welland Street and Captain Whelan Drive must be included in the proposal. The successful bidder will work with the city and with residents to determine what the new intersection will look like.

Council is also continuing to look at an ongoing traffic study at Winter Avenue.

On Aug. 7, Winter Avenue became a one-way street, with no entry from Kings Bridge Road.

At the Dec. 5 committee of the whole meeting, transportation lead Coun. Debbie Hanlon moved that the traffic-calming project for Winter Avenue be included in the ongoing review of the Rennie’s River East Traffic Pattern Review.

The only change there is that the Winter Avenue project won’t be submitted to council until March or April, which is when the Rennie’s Mill traffic report is expected to be presented.

A traffic study of the Memorial University area conducted by Harbourside Transportation Consultants in 2016 was adopted by council on Aug. 7, 2017.

Council has yet to make recommendations based on that report, but the report recommends a multi-lane roundabout at the Thorburn Road-Prince Philip Drive intersection, at an estimated cost of $1.8 million.

The MUN report recommends total changes to intersections surrounding MUN at a total estimated cost of $4.8 million.

It remains to be seen whether council follows through on those recommendations.

Meanwhile, the Town of Paradise has approved a $1.6-million roundabout at the intersection of Topsail Road and McNamara Drive as part of its 2018 budget.

A tender has yet to be put forward for that development.

Twitter: DavidMaherNL

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