Princess Margaret Bridge closure ends, but other major Fredericton projects begin

Fredericton drivers can expect more detours and traffic slowdowns in the coming months, as the city begins construction on several main roadways.

Assistant engineering manager Melissa Steeves said the city has been waiting for a five-week Princess Margaret Bridge closure to end before breaking ground on its own major construction projects.

With that provincial project completed as of June 6, Steeves said Fredericton residents can expect to see construction ramp up in the months to come.

The city will again close a section of Regent Street this year from George Street to Churchill Row.

Queen Street will be converted into a two-way street to help ease congestion at the Regent and King Street intersection.
Construction is planned again this year on Regent Street, with a closure from George Street to Churchill Row. (Jacques Poitras/CBC)

"Where commuters will feel the largest effects will be the Regent Street closure," Steeves said. "We expect the road closure to be within the next two weeks."

North side drivers will also notice a closure on Riverside Drive from Sumac Street to Corbett Avenue, starting in early July, while part of Main Street from Hawkins Street to Seymour Street will close this month.

"Those projects are very large and major infrastructure projects. Once they start we expect those projects to be a full 16-plus weeks, so three-, four-month projects," she said.

"Regent will run into the late fall for sure ... Riverside Drive, again, that will be a long project and that will run into the late fall as well."

WATCH | Some major projects to last at least 16 weeks:[MEDIA]

Steeves said the Main Street closure will be lifted a bit earlier, as the project is expected to wrap up in September.

While those three projects will have the biggest impact, Steeves said, the city will have a few others ongoing this year.

An upgraded pedestrian walkway and all-way-stop intersection is planned for Northumberland Street between Queen Street and Brunswick Street.

Construction on a new roundabout near Killarney Lake Park will close Brookside Drive north of Glennorth Street, while Woodstock Road will close from Garden Creek School to Still Water Crescent for ditch and sewer repairs.

Wednesday afternoon will be sunny and warm across much of the province says CBC meteorologist, with temperatures reaching the high 20s.
The city will start work on a new roundabout near Killarney Lake Park in the coming months. (Julianne Hazlewood/CBC)

Steeves said there were "pain points" during the last construction season that staff have tried to address through more communication with local businesses, and working with contractors on pedestrian plans.

The city has also moved to a request for proposals process on major projects this year, Steeves said, with four of five contracts finalized as of Thursday.

She said the roundabout project near Killarney Lake has yet to be awarded.

Coun. Bruce Grandy said staff are trying to keep disruptions from traffic to a minimum this season, but urged residents to plan for delays.

As construction ramps up, Coun. Bruce Grandy suggested Fredericton residents try active transportation or transit instead of driving.
As construction ramps up, Coun. Bruce Grandy suggested Fredericton residents try active transportation or transit instead of driving. (Lars Schwarz/CBC)

"I will re-iterate that while construction season is going on, we have our active transportation network with trails, we have transit," he said. "There's a number of things to mitigate traffic issues if you so choose, and we would encourage that."

Steeves also recommended driving with caution through high-traffic areas.

"When there's congestion, having people be patient, kind and safe always helps things continue to flow smoothly," Steeves said. "Feedback is always important, so we do try to respond and listen to the feedback we receive."