It’s unknown when construction of the new Cairnsmore roundabout will begin now that a grant application from the City of Duncan was denied.
The city was waiting to see if its application for a grant totalling almost $1.3 million for the project from the Canada Infrastructure Program was successful before moving forward with construction of the roundabout, which is the first one planned in Duncan.
But, after being informed the application was unsuccessful, CAO Peter De Verteuil said the city will now discuss funding the project during the upcoming budget deliberations for 2022.
“The city is also always looking for new offerings of infrastructure grants,” he added.
The roundabout, which is to be located at the intersection of Government, College, and Cairnsmore streets, adjacent to the Fishbowl Cafe, is expected to cost a total of $1.4 million.
The city has determined that the roundabout is needed to improve traffic circulation and safety at the busy intersection.
At the Duncan council meeting on Oct. 4, Coun. Garry Bruce said the roundabout is crucial to help ease traffic congestion in the area.
He said it’s common for drivers to have to line up for some time to get through the intersection.
“No traffic coming from downtown moves when the light at the intersection is red, and sometimes between 20 and 30 cars line up there,” Bruce said.
“It would sure be nice to expedite something to move this project along, because it’s necessary.”
De Verteuil agreed that staff see the project as critical.
“We felt good about the grant application, but the [Canada Infrastructure Program] was over-subscribed, like so many other grant programs recently,” he said.
“In upcoming budget meetings, we’ll have to decide whether we want to move forward without a grant to help fund the project, or wait for another opportunity to line up for a grant.”
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 ongoing construction and renovation project.