Fredericton's roundabout count will be going up yet again, this time to accommodate the rapid growth of residential buildings in the city's southwestern corner.
City councillors voted Monday to include the construction of a roundabout, on Prospect Street at the intersection of Patience Lane, in the city's 2024-2025 capital budget.
"This intersection already serves a large quantity of development on either side of Rainsford Lane," city staff said in a report to councillors.
"It is expected that this new intersection will also function as the primary gateway to anticipated development north and east of Prospect Street.
"A large undeveloped parcel of land exists in this location with the ability to accommodate hundreds of additional residential units."
The parcel of land referred covers 35 acres of former farmland, which Cedar Valley Investments purchased this spring with plans to build several apartment buildings, townhouses and detached homes with upward of 870 units.
Cedar Valley Investments's proposal would see a new street built from the intersection of Prospect Street and Patience Lane, north to Golf Club Road. (City of Fredericton)
About a third of the parcel can already accommodate detached homes at the northern end, but the company is seeking to rezone the other two-thirds of it to allow the apartment buildings, which could be as high as eight storeys where the property meets Prospect Street.
"Given the pace of new development in this area, staff are of the view that it is important to seek Council's immediate prioritization of this infrastructure project," city staff say in their report.
"Prioritization will allow staff to aggressively pursue third-party funding for the project given Prospect Street's status as a provincial highway."
Tyler McLean, spokesperson for the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure, said in an email that the province is always willing to have discussions with municipalities about projects of mutual interest.
City wants to be proactive, says councillor
Coun. Henri Mallet, who represents the ward where the roundabout will be built, said the city wants to be proactive in upgrading the street before expected development creates traffic woes.
Coun. Henri Mallet said the city wants to be proactive with upgrading infrastructure in anticipation of growth in the number of residential buildings in Fredericton's southwestern corner. (Aidan Cox/CBC)
Mallet said the roundabout would effectively reduce the speed of vehicles travelling on Prospect Street, and would allow motorists coming from Patience Lane to more safely make a left turn onto Prospect Street.
Roundabouts have been a traffic engineering design feature used more and more by the City of Fredericton in recent years.
It would be the ninth roundabout in the city after the one currently under construction at the intersection of Lincoln and Wilsey roads.
Cedar Valley Investments' proposal also includes a planned subdivision that would create a new street running north from Prospect Street to Golf Club Road.
Mallet declined to comment on the proposal as it hasn't yet come to council, but the proposed street would give motorists a more direct route from Patience Lane to Golf Club Road.
"It's probably the fastest-growing area in the city and … that's why I think it's important to kind of get ahead of it and invest in the infrastructure that's needed for the growth," Mallet said.
According to statistics from the City of Fredericton, a combined $136.6 million was spent on construction in that part of the city between 2018 and 2022, with 783 housing units built and another 1,680 units approved but not yet built.