As Victoria Street construction rolls further east into the downtown, traffic pattern changes may confuse and in some cases, make drivers hot under the collar.
Although there have been no formal complaints about lane delineation setup by the city, a quick walk through downtown on a closed section of Pine Avenue, did show driver frustration Thursday.
A section of Pine Avenue was closed to vehicles and pedestrians looking to make a left onto Victoria Street.
That morning work crews cut through pavement as they moved through the intersection of Victoria Street and Pine Avenue prompting the closure.
Flagger Kyle Grominsky was on duty and run off his feet as he stopped drivers from making a right turn onto to Pine Avenue at Farwell Street.
Grominsky stood in the middle of the crosswalk facing city hall with a stop sign in hand.
Every few minutes he had to approach a vehicle and talk to the driver to explain the sudden road closure.
“It wasn’t declared to anybody,” explained Grominsky. “The construction crews are just trying to get across the road to continue with the line work. Now we are doing the hard part to redirect traffic. But there is nothing else you can do.”
Most drivers nodded, obeyed his direction and turned left onto Pine Avenue (instead of right).
However, frustration was apparent on the faces of many drivers and on more than one occasion, cars drove through the blocked-off street anyway.
Anne Johnson, a Trail traffic safety advocate, said traffic pattern changes can be confusing, but drivers need to slow down and obey traffic personnel.
“Let’s relax folks,” said Johnson. “Slow down and look the flaggers in the eye so they know you can see them. The work will get done but know that where you drove yesterday, may not be doable today.”
Domcor, a health and safety security company based in downtown Trail, developed a traffic control plan with the construction contractor, Maglio Installations.
The traffic pattern plan had to be approved by an engineer before being reviewed and given the greenlight by the Ministry of Transportation.
“This is an engineered plan,” confirmed Darrel Fry, business developer at Domcor.
“I understand there is a lot of confusion downtown right now, “he added. “But we are trying to limit it, and ask people to please obey our traffic control personnel.”
The bottom of Glover Road is expected to re-open this week. However, pending the status of the water line, the closure may need to be extended, said Andrea Jolly, Trail’s communication and events coordinator.
Digging into ageing infrastructure can reveal “unknowns,” which need to be dealt with on a case-by- case basis, added Jolly.
The next leg of the project closed the front entrance of the Trail Memorial Centre to all vehicle traffic Thursday. The one-way lane on the east side of the building is also closed with barricades identifying designated pedestrian access to the front entrance of the arena.
Sidewalks, curbs and gutters will be replaced, as part of the $1.6 million project.