Yesterday NSW minister for roads Duncan Gay and member for Ballina Don Page announced options for an alternative to the Bangalow interchange, following a concerted community campaign in the village.
But no sooner has the ink dried on their new proposals than the community is asking for further consultations – this time on noise.
A group of concerned residents calling themselves Bangalow Noise Abatement Group (NAG) met at Newrybar Hall last night.
Spokesperson Ian Duncan said the meeting was called because of noise concerns raised since the opening of the Ballina bypass. He said that there had been unexpected noise problems since the opening, with very high noise experienced by people at Friday Hut Road, Tintenbar.
‘People living up that way phoned me and suggested I go up and check it out. It quickly became apparent that there were implications for the T2E stretch and we would have to work quickly to get any changes as work is due to start in the new year.’
Around 75 people attended the meeting, including local heavyweights such as Big Scrub Landcare founder Tony Parkes and ABC broadcaster Kerry O’Brien.
‘A lot of time was spent working through technical issues related to noise and discussing them,’ Ian said. ‘The meeting resolved to ask Don Page to get a working group between members of the community and RMS, similar to the one that just reported on the Bangalow interchange.’
He said he expects Don Page to be responsive.
Meanwhile, back at the interchange, the research done by that working party has resulted in three shortlisted options for the community to consider.
Don Page said, ‘the three options have no direct access from the upgraded highway to Bangalow while still meeting the incident management requirements for the St Helena tunnel, which will be built as part of the upgrade’.
‘The shortlisted alternative options to the Bangalow interchange are available to view on line and will be displayed on posters around Bangalow. Residents will receive printed information in their letterboxes soon,’ he said.
Comments and feedback will be accepted until close of business on Friday 10 February 2012. All feedback received will be considered and included in the decision report which will be produced early next year.
Work to build the Tintenbar to Ewingsdale upgrade will start in first half of 2012, weather permitting.
For more information visit the Tintenbar to Ewingsdale page on the RMS Pacific Highway upgrade website or call the project’s toll-free information line on 1800 882 787.