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Gander residents concerned about delays at Magee Road/TCH Intersection

Debris is cleaned up following yet another collision at the dangerous Magee Road/TCH Intersection in Gander.
Debris is cleaned up following yet another collision at the dangerous Magee Road/TCH Intersection in Gander.

GANDER, NL-Gander residents wonder why government hasn’t affected improvements at a very busy and dangerous intersection.

After a Beacon online story about the province’s newest plan for the improvements, some took to social media and spoke with TC Media expressing concern that the work keeps getting delayed. 

A planned realignment would allow westbound traffic to turn directly onto Memorial Drive.

The tender was awarded last year and the work was announced but never completed.  In the government’s recently released Five-Year Provincial Roads Plan, it’s listed as “carry over” work to 2017-18.

Councilor Gerry Parrott said the intersection poses safety concerns and it’s difficult to understand why it couldn’t’ be done last season.

“We’re quite pleased that the work is going to be carried over into this construction season, but we’re disappointed that it wasn’t done last year,” Parrott told TC Media.

Sam Toytman says he doesn’t understand why the work is taking so long. 

“It’s literally like doing a long, sweeping driveway,” he said Wednesday. “The stakes are in the ground.  I’ve seen fellows put wood roads in… you go on a Friday and you come back Sunday afternoon and there’s a 300 yard woods road going to some cabin district, with ditching, hard packed road and people are using it.”

Toytman points out that as the only thoroughfare through this part of central Newfoundland, the route sees high traffic volumes, including lots of semi-trucks, commuters and tourists.

“This intersection that they’re delaying would divert (the right turning traffic), allowing people to concentrate their attention a little easier on a difficult intersection. “


Toytman says that with the current signage, people are often confused about who is supposed to yield—the westbound traffic turning left, or the right turning traffic coming from the east. 

“It would take out one factor. It will allow people making left turns to not have to look at anything other than on coming traffic.”

“They should open up that intersection as close to the tree line on Grandy as they’re legally allowed and have a nice wide, off lane off the Trans Canada,” he adds.

Toytman’s girlfriend had an accident trying to turn left at the intersection.

“Her headlight never broke, but her front fender got tore off, that’s how close it was. And his headlight never broke, but his front fender and door and back panel got ripped off.  So you’re talking about an inch…,” he said.

Toytman says that’s just one incident of many. 

“You wonder why they don’t leave a shovel and a broom at the intersection for the next incident.  Really.  That’s that much broken red plastic at the intersection on a weekly basis.  It’s glistening in the sun and you can see debris by the side of the road.”

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