News that building supply giant Kent will be setting up shop in Grand Falls-Windsor has been met with much excitement by members of the community – and it doesn't look like commercial development is stopping there.
Councillor Jean Buffett-Mercer confirmed at the last meeting of council that there would be more upcoming announcements of new stores and businesses coming to the region.
But more retail opportunities for consumers means more traffic, and more safety concerns for both drivers and pedestrians can arise.
To avoid that, the Town of Grand Falls-Windsor recently completed a third-party traffic study on the Town's commercial areas, and starting this spring will be getting to work on implementing some of the changes.
Councillor Bruce Moores said the Town has plans and funding in place to begin reconstructing one problematic intersection that's about to become much busier.
According to Coun. Moores, the intersection of Cromer, Duggan, Earle and Harris, near Sobey's and soon-to-be Kent, has been the cause of many vehicle and pedestrian mishaps due to traffic congestion.
But a new plan to completely overhaul the intersection will see a four-way set of traffic lights and new off ramps that will hopefully ease traffic flow and improve safety for drivers.
"We've been looking at (improving that intersection) for a number of years, but now that Kent has decided to come we've really got to do something about it, because the flow of traffic is going to increase a lot," said Coun. Moores.
The million-dollar project, which Coun. Moores said will be funded mostly from gas tax revenues, will also see an addition to Cromer Ave. that will connect it to Princess Drive.
"This will open up about nine acres of new land we can develop in a great commercial area," he said.
Coun. Moores said the Town is currently in the process of talking with consultants, working out estimates, and said the engineering work has already started. He expects the project to be completed during this construction season.
He said while there will be some necessary traffic interruptions while the work is being completed, he doesn't expect any major inconveniences for drivers.
Another project the Town expects to start over the next couple of years is an addition to Hardy Ave. that will see the four-lane section of the street, which currently stops at Brown Ave., extend all the way to Grenfell Heights.
"(With the traffic study), every stop sign, and every light has recommendations we're going to start working on. Some of them are small like changing the timing on the lights, some, like this project are big...but it's all for the better."