Anyone who has been shopping along Minjungbal Drive recently will be aware just how irritating the traffic diversions are in the vicinity of the new Pacific Highway.
Fortunately things are about to improve, with the official commencement of work on the $17 million Kirkwood Road extension project.
Yesterday, Tweed mayor Barry Longland turned the first sod on the project, which will provide an exit from – and entrance to – the southbound lanes of the Pacific Highway, creating greater access to the Tweed Heads South business area.
Tweed Shire Council put up $10 million for the project, while the New South Wales state government through Roads and Maritime Services (RMS, formerly the RTA) will chip in the balance of up to $7 million.
Cr Longland was joined by Tweed MP Geoff Provest and Tweed Heads Chamber of Commerce president Rory Curtis for the ceremony that kicks off the project, which is scheduled to open in June next year.
‘This extension is set to be a strategic link in the arterial road network for Tweed Heads South that will relieve the traffic congestion in the area,’ Councillor Longland said.
‘The design will also make it more convenient for motorists to access local businesses, reinforcing the area’s status as the main commercial area in the Tweed.
‘This is only the first stage of the Kirkwood Road extension, which will eventually become a significant east–west corridor.
‘Planning is complete and approvals are in place for stage two of the extension to the west and we are again calling on the NSW government to assist by providing the $30 million in funding needed to complete the project.’
Rory Curtis said the council’s decision to fast-track the extension after consultation with the community on the Lower Tweed Master Plan was the correct one.
‘The Tweed Chamber of Commerce congratulates Tweed Shire Council and the RMS on identifying the need to bring forward the construction of the Kirkwood Road East link road,’ Mr Curtis said.
‘A high proportion of vehicle traffic visiting the South Tweed CBD comes from the north and this link road will alleviate the issues with the northern interchange roundabout at the Banora Point exit.
‘The Tweed Chamber is keen for state and local authorities to finalise the western link road and overpass to join up with the eastern link so Banora and Terranora traffic can safely access the CBD and offer some relief to the congested local road networks.
Work hours will be from 7am to 6pm Monday to Friday and 7am to 1pm on Saturdays, with minor delays expected at times on Dry Dock Road, Sunshine Avenue and Kirkwood Road west of Minjungbal Drive.
Image: Tweed Chamber of Commerce president Rory Curtis, mayor Barry Longland and Tweed MP Geoff Provest turn the first sod on the $17 million Kirkwood Road extension. Photo Shawn Durkin