Construction of the Memorial roundabout in Qualicum Beach is now finished and it will be open to traffic. (Qualicum Beach image)

Construction of the Memorial roundabout in Qualicum Beach is now finished and it will be open to traffic. (Qualicum Beach image)

Qualicum Beach’s $3.3-million Memorial Avenue roundabout now open to traffic

Project took 10 months to finish

The Memorial Avenue roundabout in Qualicum Beach is open to traffic beginning Thursday, Dec. 2.

Depending on the weather, all traffic detours will be removed, including the four-way stop at Crescent Road and Memorial Avenue.

A town press release said work on the roundabout has been going on for 10 months, conducted by contractor Copcan, and was completed through the co-operation of residents who were forced to follow alternative routes and subjected to traffic delays.

This intersection is the primary point of access to the waterfront and has historically experienced a high crash/conflict rate, and a low level of service for motorists attempting to make a westbound turn onto Highway 19A from Memorial Avenue.

It is also the most grade-favourable access for pedestrians to the waterfront and with the expected increase in foot traffic resulting from pathway upgrades, will enhance the safety and experience of all users.

“Roundabouts have been shown to reduce the number, and especially the severity, of collisions between motor vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists,” said town engineer Bob Weir. “The recently completed Memorial multi-use pathway and waterfront walkway also will bring more pedestrians and cyclists to this intersection, which means the safety benefits the roundabout offers are even more consequential.”

READ MORE: Nanaimo firm makes successful bid to build $3.3M roundabout in Qualicum Beach

The release stated the $3.3-million roundabout conversion further realizes environmental benefits by reducing greenhouse gas emissions that result from idling and stop/starts.

“The Memorial Avenue roundabout is an important project that offers significant benefits, particularly for pedestrians, cyclists, persons with disabilities and other active modes of transportation,” said Mayor Brian Wiese. “This project has been identified as a high priority in the town’s age-friendly transportation plan, and goes a long way to support the town’s waterfront master plan objective to calm traffic along the waterfront.”

Remaining work to occur on the project includes permanent line markings, and centre island landscaping, which is set to be completed in spring 2022. Residents can anticipate single-lane alternating traffic to facilitate the spring work.

For more information on the project go to http://qualicumbeach.com/roundabout.

— NEWS Staff, submitted

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