By Kevin Werner, News Staff
Those temporary lights at Pritchard and Rymal roads will now become a permanent fixture in the area.
Hamilton councillors approved at their Oct. 9 meeting a motion introduced by Ward 6 councillor Tom Jackson to make the lights permanent at the intersection to handle an expected increase in traffic volume.
Jacksonsaid residents in the area had urged him to keep the lights there after discovering they were to be removed after the completion of the Trinity Church Road extension.
“They will stay there indefinitely after Trinity Church Road is finished,” saidJackson.
The lights, which cost about $79,000, were to come down after the Trinity Church Road extension from Stone Church to Rymal Road was finished. The work is scheduled to begin next year.
The lights went up last month when the city closed Upper Mount Albion Road at Rymal Road and city officials expected an increase in motorists throughout the area. Traffic is also expected to peak with the opening of the new Bishop Ryan high school in the area.
But drivers found themselves in traffic chaos when Upper Mount Albion Road closed, producing long lines along Rymal at Pritchard, and Dakota and Glover. The lights were not properly synchronized, with the nearby intersection lights.
Jackson, along with councillors Brenda Johnson and Brad Clark banded together to get the city to make some improvements, including a new right-hand paved lane at Pritchard and Rymal, and improved synchronization of the lights.
“This has been a real trying couple of weeks,” said Johnson. “We finally have a good handle on these lights. I know it will still be a challenge.”
Clark pointed out the cost to close Upper Mount Albion, which was recommended in the ROPA 9 transportation master plan, was $81,000.
“Everything has been done fiscally responsible,” he said.
Under the transportation master plan, the city is constructing theDartnall Roadextension, and will also be widening Rymal Road to five lanes to accommodate what is expected to be a crush of vehicles because of the wave of residential development in the area. The Dartnall Road project, from Rymal to Twenty roads, is scheduled to be completed by November.
“The (five lanes for Rymal) is long overdue,” saidClark. “We will be seeing construction all at once. Within 12 months residents will see a significant improvement (in the area).”