Lombard/Abbott intersection fixes to cost $294,000

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Posted on: October 11, 2017

Chris Must

An engineering consulting firm is recommending a series of “non-intrusive” solutions to relieve traffic congestion on Abbott Street in Smiths Falls during boating season.

The swing bridge that opens to allow boats on the Rideau Canal to pass through regularly backs up traffic all the way to Highway 43, a problem exacerbated when the Confederation Bridge was closed for safety reasons in 2015.

The Ainley Group consulting firm, hired to study traffic congestion at the Abbott and Lombard Street intersection, made an initial presentation to council at the end of March. Following a public open house held in April, the group prepared its final set of recommendations, which were presented by Senior Project Manager Bob Boutilier at a meeting of council’s Committee of the Whole Oct. 10.

Steps recommended in the report cost a total of $294,000. Boutilier said one option, installing a traffic roundabout, was not feasible because it would have required buying out all property owners bordering on that intersection.

The recommended measures include “traffic signal optimization” and installing variable message signage. Engineering design and tender specifications will cost an estimated $65,000. The total cost also includes $100,000 for traffic signal optimization (accomplished through the installation of new software) on Lombard and Abbott Streets, and $130,000 for traffic signal optimization at the Lombard/Beckwith Street intersection. Variable message signs, intended to warn drivers on Highway 43 and Beckwith Street to take alternate routes when the Abbott Street bridge is open, will cost an additional $64,000.
When these plans were outlined at the April 26 public open house, Boutilier commented, input from the public was “overwhelmingly positive.”

3 thoughts on “Lombard/Abbott intersection fixes to cost $294,000

  1. Dave Van Alstine

    I still think removing the side walk and putting a right turn only from Abbot to Lombard would alleviate the traffic congestion between the bridge and lights. As a frequent user of this area you can lay odds at least one sometimes more car will run the red turning from Lombard to Abbott delaying traffic on Abbot but the majority of traffic coming from the bridge turns right towards “Walmart” and an average of 6-7 vehicles can fit between lights and bridge.

  2. Ken Maeck

    In my view people in this town should learn to be more patient and slow down. I have never had more than a 5 or 10 (min) delay at the bridge. Most times no delay at all and I use Abbot Street a lot. We are lucky. Look at Toronto where you can be stuck in traffic for vast amounts of time. I dont think we should expect an auto green light at every set of lights we drive up to. I dont like delays either, but lets put this into perspective. We are lucky here compared to large urban areas.

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