Drive safely around detour

Duane Hicks

A detour for a section of King’s Highway went into effect yesterday due to the start of a major reconstruction project.
King’s Highway has been closed to traffic from Central Avenue to just east of the Webster Avenue intersection.
Traffic is being re-routed down Fourth Street West, with vehicles able to get back onto King’s Highway at Wright Avenue.
What this means is that much more traffic—and different kinds of it—will be sharing a narrower street.
Linda Plumridge, chair of Safe Communities Rainy River District, urged residents to take extra care to be safe while using the detour.
“We just want everyone to be aware and very careful on Fourth Street because it’s a much narrower street than Third Street,” she noted.
In addition to cars and trucks, bicycle traffic, school buses, and more will be re-routed along Fourth Street.
“Because we have all this traffic going down there, be vigilant,” said Plumridge.
“We have people going back and forth, we have tourists coming in,” she noted.
“We just want people to be careful and aware that we are putting a lot of traffic on a street that wasn’t designed to carry that amount of traffic.”
With school ongoing until the end of June, Plumridge urged motorists to be particularly aware of children and teens on bikes.
“Lots of kids go to schools on bicycles so they’ll be travelling that way right now,” she warned.
“Many people have taught their children to go on Fourth Street because it’s not as busy,” she added.
“That’s the normal route for a lot of bicycle traffic specifically.”
The bottom line is the safety coalition wants the public to stay safe—and to be more aware of the potential for incidents because of the increased traffic and types of traffic using the same route.
OPP Community Services Officer Cst. Guy Beaudry echoed Plumridge’s sentiments.
“We are asking the public to be vigilant, patient, and cautious while the detour is in effect for the next four months,” he told the Times.
“Officers will be conducting patrols of the area,” Cst. Beaudry added.
Police also will be putting up a stationary radar that displays the speed of approaching vehicles.
As previously reported, the work by Bay City Contractors Inc. will include upgrades to the water, storm, and sanitary sewer systems, as well as reconstructing the road to get rid of wheel rutting.
The first phase of work is expected to be completed by mid-July, after which Phase 2 will begin.
The second phase will include work on the stretch of King’s Highway from Webster Avenue to just west of Wright Avenue (603 King’s Highway).
Bay City has set up a temporary watermain to service all residential and commercial properties within the construction zone.
During the road work, businesses such as Husky, Subway, Tim Hortons, and others in the affected area will continue to be accessible.
During the second phase of work, for instance, a temporary access to Tim Hortons will be set up off Elm Avenue.
All of the work should be done by Sept. 18.
One lift of asphalt will be laid down this year, with a second lift to be done next summer.
The other road project slated for this summer is work on Phair Avenue between Third and Fifth Street East.
Bay City Contracting also is doing this job.
This work, which also will entail replacing sewer and water infrastructure, as well as rebuilding the road and sidewalks, will start July 13.