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Ament/Herrgott intersection to become a roundabout

Construction of a new roundabout at a St. Clements intersection deemed dangerous by residents should get underway next week.

A decision last week by regional council to award the work to E&E Seegmiller Ltd. – a contract worth $1.7 million – cleared the final hurdle to upgrading the intersection of Ament Line and Herrgott Road.

A longstanding concern for residents of Wellesley Township since a fatal collision that claimed the life of five-year-old Emma Ringrose in 2005, the intersection was approved for a roundabout in late 2016

According to regional police records, between 2011 and 2016, there were on average 2.7 collisions at the intersection a year, reaching a maximum of five collisions in 2014. There was exactly one collision recorded each year in that time period that resulted in personal injuries, while a fatality occurred in 2015. According to the region’s  director of design and construction, Phil Bauer, there have been two fatal collisions at that intersection since 2005.

The cost of roundabout is estimated at just over $2 million, a significantly higher amount than the four-way stop sign the region had initially suggested installing instead. Residents rejected the recommendation as a Band-Aid solution.

Addressing regional staff and township councillors at a Wellesley council meeting on Nov. 15, 2016, Pam Ringrose, Emma’s mother, stressed the necessity of a roundabout for the intersection.

“Obviously, the rumble strips and the signs aren’t enough. The all-way stop isn’t going to help either,” she said.

“It sickens me to know our efforts have been in vain. Collisions continue to occur and another life has been lost. I don’t want to see any more of our money wasted on Band-Aid solutions. A roundabout is what is needed to save lives. The research has been done. To ignore that fact is putting people’s lives at risk.”

The project will require hydro and gas utilities to be relocated, storm sewer system construction and new paving.

“On the outside of the curb lines we are constructing a wide paved shoulder that will act as a multi-use trail for pedestrians or cyclists,” noted Bauer.

“It is also anticipated that some buggy users will feel more comfortable straddling the paved shoulder or driving on it entirely until they get to the roundabout. The curb and gutter at this location will be semi-mountable with an exposed aggregate finish (easier for horses to cross without slipping).

“On the south leg of Herrgott Road there is a vertical curve that has substandard sightlines for implementation of a roundabout. We are ‘shaving’ down the crest of this hill to meet the design criteria,” he added.

Work is scheduled to begin this coming Monday, and be substantially complete by August 31.

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