The City of Duncan will try again to move forward on the construction of the long-anticipated Cairnsmore roundabout, which will be the city’s first.
Council decided at its meeting on June 20 to apply for a grant totalling approximately $1.74 million to help pay for the project from the Strategic Priorities Fund 2022 – Canada Community Building Fund, formerly known as the Gas Tax Fund.
The SPF provides funding for strategic investments that are large in scale, regional in impact or innovative and support the Canada Community-Building Fund’s national objectives of productivity and economic growth, a clean environment, and strong cities and communities.
Brian Murphy, Duncan director of public works and engineering, told council that the current total cost of the project is now estimated to be approximately $2.3 million.
He recommended that the city commit $106,000 towards utilities upgrades as part of the project, $341,000 for roadwork, and pay for any cost overruns that may occur.
“Applications [for grant funding] close on June 30 and staff propose that the Cairnsmore roundabout is a highly suitable project for an application from the City of Duncan,” Murphy said.
“If the SPF grant is approved and the project is tendered for construction, the project will still only be able to proceed if construction bids at that time remain within the overall project budget, including contingency. This project will not proceed without a successful grant funding award.”
Council voted unanimously for the application be sent without any discussion.
The city has determined that the roundabout, which is to be located at the intersection of Government, College, and Cairnsmore streets, adjacent to the Fishbowl Cafe, is needed to improve traffic circulation and safety at the busy intersection.
In 2013, the city hired the Boulevard Transportation Group to undertake a review and preliminary design of the roundabout, and it was determined at that time that a roundabout would be feasible at the intersection in which the three streets meet.
In 2019, the city and Queen Margaret’s School entered into a memorandum of understanding which included a commitment from the city to grant access to the school from the roundabout to coincide with the school’s construction and renovation project.
Last year, the city’s application for an almost $1.3 million grant for the project from the Canada Infrastructure Program was unsuccessful.