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May 12, 2021

Bangalow interchange options examined

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Freeway access

Thanks go to Steve Stewart (Letters, January 24) for his letter regarding the Bangalow Interchange. Steve correctly points out that the working party has been working on options which deny Bangalow access to the new highway. The current ‘approved design’ provides access to and from the new highway similar to Bangalow’s current access.

Now is the final opportunity for Bangalow residents and workers to have their say, because the contract has already been awarded. Information sessions are being held at the A&I Hall on February 2 from 4pm and February 4 from 9am. You can also let the RTA know your preference by free-post on a ‘community feedback’ form which is available at Bangalow Newsagency. These forms have to reach the RTA by February 10.

Carolyn Adams, Bangalow

 

Freedom from excess

By completing one of the Roads and Maritime Services’ (RMS) feedback forms Steve Stewart can formally register his opinion about the displayed options for the handling of diversion of motorway traffic in the event of an emergency. Community opinion should, hopefully, have a significant influence on which option is finally selected.

A working party examined in detail a number of options away from Bangalow by including the existing Ross Lane interchange, where the old highway will be crossed by the new motorway at Emigrant Creek and other locations. None proved satisfactory so the three options at Bangalow (now on display) emerged.

Each has advantages and disadvantages depending on personal perceptions. Each option differs in its approach to emergency diversion, normal access to and from the old Pacific Highway and the design and visual impact of the ‘gateway’ to Bangalow. The impact on traffic flow in Bangalow is likely to differ in each.  Steve is correct in saying none provides access at Bangalow to and from the T2E except in an emergency when motorway traffic is diverted between it and the old Pacific Highway. But this was the brief.

We should remember that the RMS-preferred T2E route had no interchange at Bangalow; RMS added it later, as if an afterthought. Indeed, in its Route Options Development Report (October 2005) RMS actually said an interchange with the motorway at Bangalow was not suitable because it would result in additional traffic passing through the main street of Bangalow and might attract traffic travelling to Byron Bay (ie using the narrow, winding Bangalow Road to get from the motorway to the coast road).

An interchange at Bangalow was totally inconsistent with RMS earlier thinking.  So it was on sound grounds that Bangalow spoke out to delete access to the motorway. Now the issue is which of the displayed options for use in an emergency is the least offensive to Bangalow.

Tony Hart, VP Bangalow Progress Association

 


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