UPDATE - Roundabout coming for Upton Road, Trans-Canada intersection

Dave Stewart
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The North River area of Charlottetown, including the causeway

The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal has gone out to tender for a roundabout at the intersection of Route 1 and Upton Road.

The project will cost the provincial government approximately $1.3 million and work should be completed by the time Old Home Week rolls around.


Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Robert Vessey says the move was made to take the pressure off traffic congestion at the intersection.

“There’s a backup 700 metres long or more at peak times up the Upton Road because they can’t get in and that has caused concerns among the engineers here,’’ Vessey said Wednesday. “It was thought it was time to improve the flow so the roundabout will go in there.’’

When completed, it will be the sixth roundabout in the capital area in less than four years.

The City of Charlottetown opened its first two modern roundabout intersections in 2010 — Allen Street and Mount Edward Road in late June and Belvedere Avenue at UPEI/Farmers’ Market entrances in August. These intersection treatments were selected for the site-specific traffic and grade conditions to move traffic both during peak flows as well as off-peak times 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The province, city and Charlottetown Airport then pooled their resources to create a roundabout at the intersection of Brackley Point Road, Sherwood Road and the entrance to the airport.

The province quickly joined the party and got into the roundabout business, creating two on Riverside Drive in the fall of 2010 as part of improvements to the provincial highway system.

“It’s probably going to take us five to six weeks to do it. It’s a growing community in that area and traffic is only going to increase.’’

Vessey said the new roundabout will be a single-lane version but will be large enough to expand to two lanes down the road.

Roundabouts reportedly reduce injury collisions by 75 per cent and fatal collisions by 90 per cent. They are also supposed to increase efficient traffic flow up to 50 per cent.

“Terrible intersection,’’ one person told The Guardian on Twitter. “A friend of mine T-boned an ambulance there once.’’

Vessey says all roundabouts in the province have proved successful.

“Some people when they first came out questioned them but they do move traffic,’’ the minister said.

There has been talk over the years about extending the Charlottetown bypass highway but Vessey said the current government has no plans to pursue that anytime soon.




Organizations: Trans-Canada Highway

Geographic location: Upton Road, Canada, North River Charlottetown

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Recent comments

  • Tony Reddin
    March 07, 2014 - 22:46

    "...There’s a backup 700 metres long or more at peak times up the Upton Road..."- I think he means up the bypass... Some roundabouts are good where justified, but this is another case of TIR adding to our huge provincial debt with another wasteful project. Why not just make Rt. 1 the main right-of-way as ought have been done in the first place? Minimal cost, even including a traffic light like the one on the north river causeway that greatly favours Rt 1 and gives a short time for the non-right-of-way direction (ie Upton Road traffic turning left onto the bypass or Rt 1 traffic northward turning left onto Upton Rd). I also wonder about the access to the other streets in this area and I intend to check if the tender document includes those, when I have more time, at http://www.gov.pe.ca/tir/ .

  • Karen
    March 06, 2014 - 13:11

    I have driven the transcanada across canada and it through big cites, not one round about. Traffic light, yes. Delays yes. That's city driving folks. To build a roundabout for the sake of a rush hour traffic problem come on. Where IS this province getting the money?

    • different uses
      March 06, 2014 - 15:51

      I've driven the TCH from one side of the country to the other. You might not realize it but the TCH designation is applied to several routes across northern Ontario, where it runs through many small communities and is 2-lane all the way. And until 2 years ago the TCH went through Antigonish and had 2 at-grade intersections with traffic lights (now replaced by a bypass). The highway works differently in each province. It has never been designed to be an interstate expressway like in the U.S. or a German Autobahn. The TCH is simply a designation that provinces apply to show the primary east-west route on their road system. Personally I like the use of modern roundabouts. Especially for a road network like we have in PEI with little to no controlled access. We don't need traffic lights at intersections. 90% of the time the rest of the day there is no traffic at most of these intersections to warrant lights so a roundabout not only uses less asphalt than a big paved intersection, but it look s more attractive and you don't need to pay for expensive traffic light equipment and pay the electricity to run them. And a roundabout is safer for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists. Keep 'em coming! Vogue Optical intersection and the ones on each side of the Hillsborough Bridge, the York Pt Rd & TCH in North River, and the QEH, St Peters Hwy, Brackley Pt Rd, Mount Edward Rd, and Malpeque Rd all need to be done.

  • Islander
    March 06, 2014 - 10:44

    I wish someone would build a round about that leads straight off this island with no off lanes and all this GOV on it.

  • CWELSH26
    March 06, 2014 - 09:45

    I really think this province is a joke. been here for 14 years and I have seen nothing but the gov wasting money everywhere i look,lol. Ghizz is a waste of air and space. Putting in another waste of money roundabout, lol. dont you think you should teach people on the isalnd how to use the ones we have first. Or even better yet, start teaching them what a signal light is and how to use it.

  • diddy
    March 06, 2014 - 08:24

    I thought the next round about was going to be on St Peters and Brackley Point? What happened to that plan?

    • Pete
      March 06, 2014 - 10:51

      That is a City Of Charlottetown project. The Upton Rd. roundabout is a Provincial Gov't project.

  • Roundabouts
    March 06, 2014 - 07:51

    More roundabouts on the island than politicians who have brains.

  • don
    March 06, 2014 - 00:09

    this is a joke. wes keeps say he has NO MONEY but now he has money as election time is comming and time to pay for votes. and watch close the names of the companies that gets the contracts and research them and you will see how close they are to the liberal party. it is called patronage and buying votes.

  • Sue
    March 05, 2014 - 22:27

    It's a joke to call that a real bypass ...how many traffic stops are there from one end of it to the other,plus two roundabouts one after the other.

  • Frequent Commercial Driver
    March 05, 2014 - 15:36

    PLEASE - PLEASE - PLEASE......Get the roundabout done at Belvedere ESSO-Vogue Optical-Leon's FIRST. That's the worst, stupidest, very-poorly engineered intersection in CANADA.

    • Islander
      March 05, 2014 - 20:17

      I absolutely agree with you! It is a serious accident waiting to happen . . .

    • don
      March 06, 2014 - 07:11

      the more MVC's the better for wes. he then gets the hst from the car parts,towing,body shop. so he will be pleased if there is a few a few a day.

    • Ghiz the Wiz
      March 06, 2014 - 17:05

      The upton roundabout is POINTLESS unless they plan on actually finishing the bypass with it, remember the farmers wouldn't sell their land and they built half a bypass anyways. They should be focusing that money in to hazardous intersections in town like belvedere/st. Peters or Weymouth and euston where traffic is constant and there are real safety concerns for motorists and pedestrians. Lets vote out these bozos in the next election, because they obviously DON'T have the best interests of islanders in mind.

  • Captain Canuck
    March 05, 2014 - 13:47

    Finally, a rotary that makes sense. It is fantastic, the number of people turning there who refuse to believe that there is other traffic in the area. On the other hand, instead of pandering to the majority who cannot drive, why not just make people PASS their driving test before issuing a license?

  • Nick
    March 05, 2014 - 12:20

    People need to understand that the right lane is the slow lane and left lane is for passing that would speed the whole island up

  • Stafford MacSwain
    March 05, 2014 - 12:11

    This is a death sentence for the extending the Charlottetown Bypass. This money would be better spent on extending the bypass before traffic becomes worse than it is.

  • Bob Macdonald
    March 05, 2014 - 12:08

    It would make sense to also put one at the end of the by-pass highway where it meets the Upton Road as well. There always seems to be traffic backed up there even though nothing is coming at you in the other directions.

    • right there
      March 05, 2014 - 13:59

      I think you'll find that the location is where the by-pass meets Upton Road. The article wasn't very clear indicating the location.

  • don
    March 05, 2014 - 11:20

    please hurry up and by pass cornwall. i can hardly wait for the mayor to whine when business close and move away from his town. then it will be to late for him and the council to turn back the page. hurry please

  • confused
    March 05, 2014 - 10:59

    Why does our government seem to think putting a roundabout in every intersection will solve road issues. I've never seen so many roundabouts in one little province where they are not needed. This is a waste of our money as usual. I've drove this part of the highway for a while and our traffic issues are nothing. Try going to a major city and see what it's like to sit in hours of traffic.

    • finally
      March 05, 2014 - 15:05

      As a driver at Seafood Express, I think this a great idea. Does the general motoring public have any idea how hard it is to make a left turn out of there during peak traffic times?. It is next to impossible to do so....this will help reduce problems between heavy trucks and pov's.

    • Hughjordan
      March 05, 2014 - 16:07

      Roundabouts keep traffic moving, traffic lights stop staffic....it's a no brainer what's better for that location.

    • huh
      March 05, 2014 - 16:11

      The intersections at UPEI, Allan street, Pooles corner, and the airport, have vastly improved traffic flows to a level other mechanisms never could. I suspect we will be able to say the same thing about the Belvedere Ave one when it is built. Just because you can find some city somewhere with greater traffic issues than ours doesn't mean we have none.