Delhi councillor feels Fertilizer Road needs special attention

By Monte Sonnenberg, Simcoe Reformer

The Ministry of Transportation doesn’t believe there is anything special about the intersection of Fertilizer Road and Highway 3.

The ministry has had a look at the busy intersection and come to the conclusion that it doesn’t need any special markers or modifications.

However, Delhi Coun. Mike Columbus begs to differ. He intends to raise the matter at this week’s meeting of Norfolk council.

Last September, Norfolk staff was directed to ask the ministry to highlight the dangers of the intersection in some manner. Late last month, the ministry said that isn’t necessary.

“Traffic volumes, roadway geometry, visibility, collision history and area development were considered as part of this study,” Kevin Plut, a traffic supervisor with the ministry, said in a letter Jan. 24 to county engineer Gary Houghton.

“Based on this review, the need for safety-related improvements – including the re-alignment of Fertilizer Road – could not be supported at this time.”

Columbus wants the ministry to reconsider its position.

“I’m totally disappointed with the ministry’s response,” he said Monday. “It’s an intersection that deserves a major upgrade.

“There were two serious crashes there last fall in two weeks, with serious injuries. And there have been fatalities there. You’d think with the number of accidents at that intersection and the seriousness of them that the MTO would do something to remedy this.”

At the least, Columbus would like to see a large stop sign with a flashing red light installed at the intersection. This, he said, is a reliable warning of a potentially difficult intersection.

The intersection disturbs Columbus because of its mix of fast and slow traffic.

There is the regular traffic travelling 80 km/h and more on Highway 3. Then there are the trucks, grain wagons and other farm vehicles travelling in the area en route to the FS grain elevator on Fertilizer Road or to any of the numerous farms in the immediate area.

Columbus added that Fertilizer Road has become a popular short-cut for boaters heading to Lake Erie from the Kitchener-Waterloo area by way of Brantford Road and Turkey Point Road. Anything that would calm traffic in the area would be beneficial, Columbus said.

Columbus intends to raise the ministry letter under other business at Tuesday’s meeting of Norfolk council. He wants to know if there is anything Norfolk can do independent of MTO.