03/22/2018 11:25 EDT | Updated 03/22/2018 12:03 EDT

Manitoba opts for a roundabout to improve intersection's safety

WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government has announced what is believed to be the first traffic roundabout on a provincial highway.

Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler says in a release that the roundabout will be built at the intersection of provincial trunk highways 2 and 3, just south of Winnipeg, near the community of Oak Bluff.

Schuler says the traffic circle will help manage the flow of about 10,000 vehicles a day at a spot where increasing traffic has created long lines and unsafe merges and crossings.

The project is to go to tender this spring with completion expected later this year.

The government says research shows roundabouts are less expensive to maintain than traffic signals and reduce fatal collisions by nearly 90 per cent and injuries by as much as 76 per cent.

The province is also looking at interim safety improvements for the south Perimeter Highway, which carries more than 30,000 vehicles a day.

There are multiple uncontrolled access points and median openings on the highway.

"The Perimeter Highway is one of the most important economic corridors in Manitoba and is a major route for many people every day," Schuler said Thursday. "There is a need for significant interim safety measures while we develop a plan to ensure the safety of all who use the road in the longer term."

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