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Area man says Hwy. 12 construction 'dangerous' for drivers

'They got these concrete barriers up to separate the workers from traffic. They really impede the sight lines,' says frustrated local resident
Tom Kelly says the roundabout construction on Highway 12 is dangerous, noting it has already played a role in at least one crash.

A Ramara resident is frustrated with the construction of a new roundabout on Highway 12 he says is causing “traffic chaos.”

Tom Kelly, who lives on Concession Road 6 in Brechin, says installation of the new roundabout began earlier this summer, and since then he has observed some “dangerous” driving conditions.

“They got these concrete barriers up to separate the workers from traffic,” he said. “They really impede the sight lines.”

Kelly says travellers in smaller vehicles coming off of County Road 169 have nearly no view of oncoming traffic while merging onto Highway 12. He says he knows of a crash that happened last week.

Dakota Brasier, the senior communications adviser and press secretary for the office of the minister of transportation, Caroline Mulroney, commented on the issue in an email.

“To ensure road safety, while working to complete construction as quickly as possible, the ministry considered all factors and feasible options for construction staging and traffic control on the Highway 12 roundabout,” she said.

She says staff have been in contact with Kelly through email and have offered to speak to him by phone.

“An online education centre is planned in advance of the roundabout opening,” she said. “The public will be notified of the information meeting via local newspapers.”

Project details and information on how to use the roundabout can be found here.

Kelly doesn’t find the ministry’s response to be sufficient.

“It just irritates me because getting answers on this is nearly impossible,” he said. “Government officials don’t respond and the people in charge of the project respond with political answers.”

He says he has talked to many residents in the area who are also calling the construction zone “dangerous.” He says an easy fix for the issue would be to add a set of traffic lights on the busy highway until construction is complete.

“(Government officials) talked about this in a boardroom and decided that they don’t need a set of traffic lights while the construction is going on,” Kelly said. “It sounds like they are just going to stick to that decision.”

Ramara Mayor Basil Clarke did not respond to OrilliaMatters’ request for comment in time for publication.

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Tyler Evans

About the Author: Tyler Evans

Tyler Evans got his start in the news business when he was just 15-years-old and now serves as a video producer and reporter with OrilliaMatters
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