Northfield Road, Highway 19A, Boundary Avenue Upgrade Project
The intersection(s) of Northfield Road/Boundary Avenue and Highway 19A/Northfield Road has long been an area of concern due to the high number of vehicle collisions. The proximity of three intersecting major roads, high traffic volumes, the E&N trail, and the E&N railroad presents a challenging set of constraints and has made the development of improvements a complex undertaking.
The primary objective of this project is to improve the safety of the intersection for all modes of transportation.
The secondary objective of this project is to improve the efficiency and organization of traffic through the intersections. While the intersection may be more efficient after construction is completed, a significant increase in traffic capacity is not expected.
The project seeks to maximize the safety and efficiency of the intersection, as a result left-turns from northbound Boundary Avenue to westbound Northfield Road cannot be accommodated. For the small number of vehicles making this turn, alternate routes are available to travel north-west.
The City of Nanaimo and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure have partnered to complete this project. Other organizations including: Island Corridor Foundation, Southern Rail, School District 68 and ICBC have been consulted regarding the project.
Some of the enhancements to the area are listed below along with the associated benefit to users of the intersections. The numbers correspond to the numbers shown on the drawing above.
|1||Vehicles turning left from Highway 19A onto Northfield Road will have a protected left-turn only traffic signal (left turns will only be allowed on the green arrow).||Reduces the risk of collisions between vehicles turning left onto Northfield Road and vehicles going south on Highway 19A and eliminates potential conflicts between pedestrians crossing Northfield Road and left turning vehicles.|
|2||Vehicles on Northfield Road approaching Highway 19A will have dedicated left and right-turn lanes.||The dedicated lanes will provide vehicles turning left a dedicated space to wait for a green light and vehicles turning right will be able continue onto Highway 19A.|
|3||Vehicles turning right from Northfield Road to Highway 19A will have an acceleration lane on Highway 19A.||The acceleration lane will simplify the merge onto Highway 19A by allowing vehicles to clear the intersection prior to merging.|
|4||Vehicles turning left from Northfield Road to Boundary Avenue will have a dedicated left lane.||The dedicated lane will improve traffic flow eastbound on Northfield Road. It will also prevent vehicles from backing up across the railway and into the Northfield – Highway 19A intersection.|
|5||There will be a new traffic signal at the intersection of Northfield Road and Boundary Avenue.||The signal will only be activated when a train is approaching ensuring that the area around the railway is clear when a train crosses Northfield Road.|
|6||Pedestrian and cyclist improvements at both intersections.||Pedestrians and cyclist will be able to navigate the intersection more safely and efficiently.|
|7||A new pedestrian cyclist rail crossing between Boundary Avenue and the E&N trail.||The crossing will make it easier for cyclists to connect between these two corridors.|
|8||Improved access to the pedestrian/cyclist underpass.||The ramp to the pedestrian underpass will be improved and updated to current guidelines.|
The budget for the project is $3,000,000.
The City of Nanaimo and the Ministry of Transportation have agreed to share the cost of the project 50:50. ICBC has also indicated that they can contribute $95,000 to the project.
It is anticipated that construction will start in 2016; however, detailed project timing is yet to be determined. When additional information is available it will be made available on this website.
May 10, 2016: At the May 9, 2016 Committee of the Whole meeting, Council voted to defer the Northfield/Boundary/Highway 19A intersection project for up to one year. The tender for the project has been cancelled.
March 23, 2016: The project is currently out for tender and construction is anticipated to start in the fall of 2016.
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