Residents of Newbridge are rejoicing after a decision to implement a 21-kilometre road diversion for local traffic has been reversed.
The diversion was instigated as part of the work to be carried out replacing the current bridge across the railway line.
READ MORE: Brand new bridge for Newbridge
Residents received a letter in late September informing them that work was commencing, and they were incensed to discover that without any community consultation whatsoever by the contractor John Holland or Transport for NSW, that they would have to take the long way around to get from one part of town to another.
President of the Newbridge Progress Association Wayne Moore said that it was absurd that the usual diversion, a 500 metre drive east of the bridge down to Calga Road and then back again, wasn’t going to be available for the nine month long project.
“Every time they work on the bridge we use that Calga Road diversion,” he said, “There’s no explanation at all as to why it wasn’t going to be available this time.”
“Everything from local traffic, the school bus, the garbage collection would all have to make a 42 kilometre round trip,” he said.
READ MORE: New bridge cuts 25 kilometres off old route
Another Newbridge resident David Lake said that as part of the local RFS, he would be unable to make it to the station.
“I live on the northern side and the fire station is on the south, by the time I drive the the 21 kilometres it will be too late,” he said.
Blayney shire general manager Rebecca Ryan said that council had been liaising with the John Holland Group about the diversion.
“Council is in receipt of the Road Opening Permit application which will now require access to be available through Calga Road for the duration of the works, and will also set specific requirements on the construction of the road, and how traffic will be controlled,” she said.
Transport for NSW released a statement late on Wednesday stating, ‘“We understand that this project will mean extra travel time for the local community, so we are currently exploring the possibility of building a temporary road to a railway crossing point less than a kilometre away.”