Construction of the Highway 26 New alignment includes three new roundabouts and is anticipated to be opened to traffic by late Fall 2012, subject to weather conditions and construction progress. The roundabouts will be monitored under a pilot project for pedestrians.
The Highway 26 New alignment is located in Clearview, Wasaga Beach and Collingwood. The three new roundabouts are located:
With recreation and tourist attractions, Highway 26 exhibits a considerable increase in traffic during the winter and summer months. Tourist attractions associated with Wasaga Beach and Collingwood include skiing, campgrounds and two provincial parks (Wasaga Beach and Craigleith).
The new alignment between Wasaga Beach and Collingwood is a four-lane highway (i.e. two lanes per direction) with a posted speed of 90 km/h between the relocated Airport Road and the Poplar Side Road roundabouts. The posted speed is reduced gradually to 50 km/h on the approaches to these roundabouts.
The three roundabouts will use a new use a new signed pedestrian crossing that requires drivers to yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk or waiting to enter. These are the first use of this new crossing type in Ontario and they will be monitored for effectiveness.
Value Engineering and Human Factors Studies were undertaken by the ministry in 2006 that resulted in the recommendation of roundabouts to deal with traffic flow and safety issues.
The proposed roundabouts at all three intersections received strong support from the local municipalities and the public.
Roundabouts are not new to the Wasaga Beach and Collingwood areas. Since 2010, two roundabouts have been constructed in the vicinity: one located at Blue Mountain and the other at Poplar Side Road in Collingwood.
To read more on the benefits of roundabouts, please visit the main roundabout page.