The location of the new roundabout in Belle River before construction. (Photo courtesy of google.com/maps)

‘Holy Moly!’ backups because of roundabout work in Belle River

Lakeshore Mayor Tom Bain hopes long backups in the short-term will pay off for drivers once a new roundabout in Belle River is complete.

Construction on the new roundabout on Notre Dame Street at West Belle River Road started Tuesday.

County Road 22, one of the busiest roads in Essex County if not the most hectic, turns into Notre Dame Street inside the community of Belle River, and the roundabout is going in just before the bridge over Belle River.

Bain told BlackburnNews.com that the backups on the first day of construction were very long. He said 27,000 vehicles used the stretch Tuesday.

“Holy moly!” he exclaimed. “We had to add temporary changes to the stop lights there, and we’ll have to have police officers out there the first few days to manage traffic that’s backed up so bad.”

Drivers are encouraged to take County Road 42 or County Road 46 instead, although Bain admitted that would add a few minutes on to travel times.

The intersection will remain closed for the next three months.

The Town of Lakeshore embarked on the $2.4 million project because of safety concerns.

“People not being able to cross the road,” explained Bain. “And with vehicles headed on West Belle River Road not being able to get out onto Notre Dame Street. Looking at that, a roundabout was the answer to solve safety concerns and allow a much better flow of traffic.”

Bain added another roundabout installed a few years ago on County Road 22 just west of Puce has been a great success.