Tryon highway realignment to begin mid-August

Teresa Wright twright@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on July 22, 2014

Google Street View of Tryon Baptist Church that will be moved by the province to make way for a more gentle curve of the Trans-Canada highway in Tryon.

A sharp curve in the Trans-Canada Highway in Tryon will soon be straighter and safer.

Work is set to begin in mid-August on a realignment of a dangerous 1.6 km section of the highway in Tryon.

“I know there have been quite a few accidents on this particular stretch of road,” said Darrell Evans, design manager with the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

“We’ve had instances where we’ve replaced a guard rail on that curve and then the next week it was damaged due to a truck flipped over, so it’s a bad curve.”

Department officials say this curve does not meet current national safety guidelines.

The curve radius of this particular stretch of the Trans-Canada is about 270-280 meters. This will be improved to a 600-metre radius curve.

“That will greatly improve the safety of the road going around this curve,” Evans said.

In order to straighten out this part of the highway, the Tryon United Baptist Church will be moved to an adjacent property.

This is the second of three changes to realign the Trans-Canada Highway, which were first proposed in 2011. The first of this three-stage project was completed the last year in Churchill. That project, known as the Plan B highway realignment, was met with deep concern and protest over the environmental impacts of the highway.

Alternately, the project this year has not received any negative feedback from the public. Evans says this project is significantly smaller in scale and cost. The Plan B highway cost $16-million, while the tender for the realignment in Tryon has come in at $1.75 million.

“It’s not a very complex project,” Evans said.

“The one last year was a six-kilometre stretch of road and fairly hilly, as you know, and steep hills, lots of cuts, lots of fills. This one is not as complicated as that.”

The work is expected to take six-to-eight weeks to complete. Construction may cause some temporary travel delays, but not for any great length of time, Evans added.

The final phase of the Trans-Canada realignment is a proposed bypass behind Crapaud to the south-west.

But this project is still in the planning phase and would still need to go to public consultation.

Also, other capital projects may come sooner, such as the Cornwall bypass or an extension of this year’s Tryon project, which would see additional improvements on a second a curve further north.

“It all hinges on our own budget availability and other external factors,” Evans said.

Provincial officials are still awaiting word on whether some of the cost of this year’s Tryon highway work will be shared by the federal government, as was the case for the Churchill realignment last year.