FREDERICTON, N.B. — The Department of Transportation is sizing up a report on the construction of a full highway interchange and upgrading Hanwell Road.
Mike Trites, assistant deputy minister and chief engineer for the department, says transportation officials are assessing a report from ADI Ltd. that spells out technical issues related to the upgrading of the Hanwell Road and the possibility of building a full interchange for the Trans-Canada Highway where it crosses the road.
The report does provide a traffic volume review, an assessment of current and future service levels and options for road upgrading.
“We look at it as a whole. It’s not an either-or scenario. Both projects- the ramps and the road – have merit,” Trites says.
ADI looked at six design options for a complete set of on/off-ramps at the TCH and Hanwell Road. It narrowed the discussion to the two best configurations.
Doing nothing with the road over the next two decades isn’t an option, ADI says. It estimates that traffic counts of 12,300 per day will grow by 51 per cent over the next 20 years to 17,900 vehicles per day even if the road isn’t improved.
The report states that numbers at intersections along the city portion of the Hanwell Road will hit between 22,200 and 25,400 at key intersections such as the one at Hanwell and Bishop Drive and between Bishop Drive and the Route 8 ramps over the next two decades.
ADI has figured it will cost between $4 million and $5 million to upgrade the road and another $6.4 million to build the on/off-ramps with the TCH.
The report has been handed to the Trans-Canada-Hanwell access ramps action committee, who have been campaigning to have an interchange at Hanwell Road put in place. Hanwell Road has become home to an expanding number of transportation-related enterprises.
With the ADI study in hand, the lobby group now has the opportunity to return with information and questions to the department.
“There are still questions that have been posed, and we’re still putting together some information, but we’re pretty well there,” Trites says.
Eight Progressive Conservative MLAs from the greater Fredericton region have already said they support the action committee’s lobby effort to convince Transportation Minister Percy Mockler and Premier Bernard Lord to move ahead on the road improvement project.
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