(BlackburnNews.com file photo by Adelle Loiselle)(BlackburnNews.com file photo by Adelle Loiselle)

Part of Grand Bend's River Road switching to one-way

Traffic changes are being made in Grand Bend ahead of the busy summer season.

Lambton Shores council approved two road-related changes during a recent meeting, one of which involves the conversion to one-way traffic on River Road between Ontario Street (Highway 21) and Alberta Street.

Director of Public Works Nick Verhoeven said the switch to one-way traffic is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, June 26.

The work is only expected to take one day so changes will officially come into effect as of June 27.

Verhoeven said property owners on River Road will receive notification in the mail about the upcoming changes.

"The change will be advertised on the municipality's social media accounts," he said. "We're going to have a sign posted on site in advance of the change just to notify anyone driving by of the change and the date that it's happening."

The one-way conversion is estimated to cost $5,000 and will include signs, posts, and line painting. The Transportation Services fund approved in the 2024 Operating Budget will accommodate the project.

Traffic impacts of the one-way conversion were previously studied and found that the measures would calm traffic on River Road and eliminate illegal left hand turns from River Road onto Ontario Street. Verhoeven also said the change would allow for increased space on the narrow roadway for pedestrians and vehicles towing vessels to the boat launch.

"It just creates a bit more space and makes things a bit more orderly on River Road, and we think it will help a bit with the congestion on Ontario Street when it backs up from Main Street at the main intersection," he said.

A report to council also said traffic signals at Lake Road currently have sufficient capacity for increased traffic.

During last week's meeting, Councillor Glen Baillie raised a question about parking, citing the need for additional handicapped spaces along River Road and the potential use of paid parking permits for those who frequent the area. However, the topic was not discussed further as it was not part of the motion before council.

Verhoeven said staff will review both items for the future.

"When that will be, I don't know at this point," he said.

River Road is part of a reconstruction project, however, work is not expected to begin until 2027 or later. The project is pending funding and completion of the Ontario Street Bridge project, which is expected to begin later this year.

Meanwhile, Lambton Shores council also recently approved additional stop signs at the corners of Oak Street and Hill Street, and at Oak Street and Huron Street.

Verhoeven said the new stop signs were installed last week, making both intersections a four-way stop instead of a three-way stop.

The request to council was made after traffic safety concerns were raised by a Grand Bend resident, specifically regarding Hill Street and Oak Street.

Municipal staff found sightline issues due to the narrow road right of way, vegetation, private structures, and private vehicle parking.

Upon further investigation, staff also noticed similar concerns at the Huron Street and Oak Street intersection.

Verhoeven said the cost was expected to be minimal, at less than $1,000 and will be funded through the 2024 Transportation Operating Budget. 

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