Does your development mandate an intersection upgrade?

During feasibility assessment stages, it is extremely important to evaluate whether your future development will mandate an intersection upgrade at the access point to the property. If you learn about this piece of information once you have committed to the investment, it might be too late. Always prepare for the worst-case scenario. Keep reading to learn more. Some of this may be brand new information for some.

When certain developments like subdivisions are expected to generate a considerable amount of traffic accessing and egressing the development, it will have an adverse impact on the adjoining main road that it is connected to. Not only do vehicles slowing down to access the development, may slow down the traffic stream of the main road, they may also cause rear-end type crashes. In simple terms, a development is not supposed to make the existing road network worse-off. If it does, mitigation measures must be put in place.

In order to assess this risk, a traffic engineer performs a Turn Warrants Assessment as part of a broader Traffic Impact Assessment. Through this, a traffic engineer evaluates the number of turning movements that are expected to occur at the access point of the development and compares these numbers against the volumes of the adjacent main road. Austroads Design Guidelines specifies the types of turning treatments required for various types of roads with various speed limits. Assessment criteria include:

  • Major road traffic volumes;
  • Turn volumes expected as a result of the development; and
  • Major road speed environment;

​Through this, a traffic engineer determines whether the access point requires you to formalise or upgrade the access point into a formal intersection. Doing this may be costly, as an intersection upgrade or formalisation requires traffic signage, line marking, safety barrier treatments, new drainage, extension of underground services, street lighting, traffic management solutions etc. Councils don’t necessarily have to bear the cost for an intersection upgrade on all occasions. If the upgrade is a part of their pipeline of works, they may bear the costs. But there is no guarantee this will happen. It is therefore, extremely crucial to understand these factors before you commit to an investment.

Who would have thought, you need guidance from a traffic engineer before buying a large block of land? Now you know, that you should.

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