COUNCILLOR Ian North hopes the NSW Government will support Bathurst Regional Council’s plans for a serious overhaul to the Great Western Highway at Raglan.
With the $85 million expansion to the road at Kelso making good progress, Cr North has questioned why there isn’t a joint plan between council and the NSW Government to cater for the growth of Raglan near Bathurst Airport.
A 2.4-kilometre stretch of the highway between Stockland Drive and Ashworth Drive is being expanded from two lanes to four in the current works.
The highway will remain at two lanes through Raglan, however.
Cr North says Raglan “is an area that is still expanding” and the road is not prepared to deal with increasing congestion.
“We really should have started [the project] just past the airport,” Cr North said. “It would allow for a lot better movement not just for residents, but for people coming in from Sydney.”
Council recently confirmed that letters had been forwarded to the NSW Government expressing its desire to proceed with a second phase to the Great Western Highway upgrade and to secure funding for the project.
Cr North is unsure of how much the project would cost, but hopes the NSW Government will see the merit in improving access to the Central West.
“If the work at Kelso cost $85 million, it has got to be less to do the next bit,” he said.
“The gateway to the Central West should be given the same treatment as infrastructure projects in Sydney.”
If council is successful in obtaining financial support, Cr North would like to see work start as soon as the expansion at Kelso is complete.
The Kelso project is expected to be finished by mid-2017.
In addition to widening the road, the upgrade at Kelso will widen road shoulders, improve kerbs and guttering, and upgrade intersections.
Work recently started on the eastbound lanes after traffic was diverted onto the newly finished westbound lanes in mid-September.