Bathurst Regional Council plan identifies 20 years of roads infrastructure

A NEW LEVEL: The Gordon Edgell Bridge on lower Hereford Street under water in early August - the second time it had flooded in a couple of weeks. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 080316cflods1

A NEW LEVEL: The Gordon Edgell Bridge on lower Hereford Street under water in early August - the second time it had flooded in a couple of weeks. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 080316cflods1

A NEW Macquarie River bridge to the north of the city and the duplication of the Hereford Street low level bridge are among the long-term projects identified in a Bathurst Regional Council roads plan for the city.

Councillors at the August policy committee meeting called for a report from staff on council’s roads infrastructure planning after the Hereford Street bridge had been flooded twice in a matter of weeks.

A report to Wednesday night’s monthly meeting by acting environmental, planning and building services director Richard Denyer outlines the key points in council’s Kelso Traffic Study,  incorporated into the Roadworks - New Residential Subdivision Section 94 Development Contributions Plan.

The Section 94 plan collects funds when land is subdivided, or intensified with dual occupancies or residential units to contribute to the cost of council providing new infrastructure.

Mr Denyer said Kelso projects included in the Section 94 plan included:

  • Duplication of Hereford Street between Gilmour Street and the low level bridge.
  • Widening of George Street between Stanley Street and Durham Street.
  • Signalising of Marsden Lane/Gilmour Street/Hereford Street intersection.
  • Several local roundabouts or intersection treatments.
  • Duplication of the low level bridge.

“The New Residential Subdivision Section 94 Plan identifies the cost of the works for Kelso at approximately $19 million (CPI adjusted),” Mr Denyer wrote.

Mr Denyer noted that while council’s plan did not specify whether a new Hereford Street bridge should be raised from the current level, Roads and Maritime Services had recommended to council that any new bridge be built to be “flood free”.

Council’s plan does, however, allow for the duplication of the Hereford Street bridge.

“An alternative to the duplication of the low level bridge would be to construct a higher level bridge and approaches to cater for a larger flood,” Mr Denyer wrote.

But he said further studies would be needed to determine if this was the best option, “particularly if Hereford Street itself remains inundated”.

The roads plan also identifies the likely need for a new river crossing in years to come to cater for growing residential areas to the north of the city.

Council has previously earmarked land north of Eleven Mile Drive between Sofala Road and Eglinton as suitable for the long term residential growth of the city and the roads plan says a new river crossing may be required to link Eleven Mile Drive and Eglinton Road.

“The route, cost and timing of the bridge construction would need to be the subject of further studies,” Mr Denyer wrote.

“It is likely that this scenario would require a significant investment from Council and would be a long term (20+ year) solution.

“It should also be noted that this option is also likely to require significant upgrades to the Durham/Stewart Street intersection and Durham Street/Eglinton Road.”

Councillors will consider the report at Wednesday’s meeting.

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