The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal (TIR) is planning to construct a new interchange which will provide a connection to the existing Bridgewater Business Park and to 125 acres of developable land on the north side of the existing highway. Planning and preliminary design work to finalize the interchange and associated connector roads is currently underway. This project will allow direct access to Highway 103 from Bridgewater Business Park and surrounding areas providing improved connectivity to the provincial highway network.
The project will consist of a new diamond interchange, replacement of an existing highway structure, several intersection improvements, creation of auxiliary lanes that will connect the ramps between the new Exit 12A and Exit 13, and a new road connection from the new interchange to St. Phillips Street. The map below illustrates the proposed location and configuration of the new interchange and associated improvements.
The interchange is located approximately 1.4 km west of Exit 12 and 1.8 km east of Exit 13. The interchange will tie directly into the northern section of Logan Rd, creating a direct access into the business park. This project will also open 125 acres of developable land currently owned by the Town of Bridgewater allowing for future expansion of the business park.
Modern roundabouts will be constructed at the ramp terminals at Exit 12A. Roundabouts provide significant operational and safety benefits when compared to traditional signalized or stop-controlled intersections.
Auxiliary lanes will be constructed to connect the ramps from the new Exit 12A to the existing ramps at Exit 13. This connection will allow vehicles who are coming onto the highway at one interchange and exiting at the other to stay within the auxiliary lane and avoid having to merge with higher speed through traffic.
Several intersections were identified as needing improvements to properly accommodate traffic, specifically trucks, through the business park. These intersections include:
Each intersection has been designed with improved geometry to enhance the overall flow of trucks and traffic throughout the business park. The improvements have begun construction and are currently underway with the majority of the work expected to be completed in Fall 2020.
The project will also include the installation of new watermain and sewer lines to connect the new business park area to the existing town water infrastructure.
Careful planning and design measures along with accepted construction techniques will ensure that environmental impacts from activities such as road construction near developed areas, ponds and streams and disruption of highly erodible materials are minimized.
The cost to construct the interchange, roundabouts, and intersection improvements is currently estimated at $50.8 million. Highway 103 is part of the National Highway System and the project has received approval for a Federal contribution under the National Trade Corridor Fund of up to 50 percent of the total eligible project costs to a maximum contribution of $20.4 million. The Town of Bridgewater will be contributing $8.4 million towards the existing business park intersection upgrades and the new watermain and sewer lines.
Planning and preliminary design for the remaining work is well underway for this project. Environmental site assessments are also in progress. Construction requires completion of the detailed design for the interchange, associated roadway(s), structures, along with the acquisition of land and environmental mitigation plans. The Department is proceeding on a schedule that will allow for construction of the interchange to begin in Spring 2021.