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P.E.I. growers concerned about roundabouts

P.E.I. growers concerned about roundabouts

They will be able to accommodate farm equipment, engineers say

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Engineers with Prince Edward Island’s transport ministry are reassuring farmers that they’ll be able to navigate large equipment through a planned roundabout.

Construction is scheduled to begin on the Newton Rural Roundabout in July and wrap up in August. The project will turn the two-way stop at Newton and Scales Pond roads into a roundabout.

And the design team has taken farmers’ concerns into account.

"We know it's a rural area, that there's a lot of farming being done, and we've designed it and built these to accommodate the 22- and 24-foot wide potato planters and harvesters," Steve Yeo, chief engineer with the P.E.I. Department of Transportation, told farmers and other community members during a public meeting on Thursday, CBC reports.

A new roundabout in P.E.I. will be constructed at the intersection of Newton and Scales Pond roads. (Google Maps photo)

The roundabouts are designed without outside curbs to give farmers and other equipment operators more room.

When completed, the roundabout will have a centre barrier curb, truck apron, and a granular shoulder on which farmers can drive.

“You can put the wheels of the larger equipment out there and pass through the roundabout safely, like vehicle traffic,” Yeo said during the meeting.

P.E.I. is constructing the roundabout because of inattentive drivers.

Between 2006 and 2015, 19 crashes and four fatalities have occurred near the intersection, the provincial government said.

“If people would pay attention to stop signs, I wouldn’t be here (at the meeting) – but they don’t,” Yeo said during the meeting, The Guardian reported. “The whole concept here is not to disrupt agriculture.”