An image of the partially opened roundabout on Ottawa Street

New roundabouts at Ottawa Street and Homer Watson Boulevard and Ottawa and Alpine Road have partially opened to traffic. – Mathew McCarthy, Record staff

Two new roundabouts on Ottawa Street in Kitchener are partially open to traffic.

“The road is open, but expect delays because it’s not at full capacity,” said Wayne Cheater, senior project manager with the Region of Waterloo.

The new roundabouts at Alpine Road and Homer Watson Boulevard were opened by the contractor on Friday, once again allowing full access to those busy intersections.

“All roads are now open,” Cheater said.

However, the roundabouts are operating as single lanes and delays will persist.

Many drivers have been using alternate routes since construction started at the end of May, and Cheater said it’s fine if traffic volume remains low while construction continues.

“It doesn’t have the capacity to handle a lot of traffic,” he said.

Normally, 54,000 vehicles use the Ottawa-Homer Watson intersection daily while 31,000 use Ottawa-Alpine.

Speeds are reduced and not all the new roundabout signage is posted yet, but the traffic signals are gone.

Work on the $6.55-million regional project actually began earlier in the spring without too much disruption to traffic as crews constructed a temporary bypass road around Ottawa from the highway overpass to Alpine Road.

The eastbound on-ramp to the expressway has not yet reopened. That should happen in a week or two.

Traffic will be limited through the area until early October, when all the construction is expected to be finished if weather permits.

“There’s a lot of work left to be done,” Cheater said.

Source: The Waterloo Region Record