THREE councillors are confident that construction of a roundabout at a contentious intersection in West Bathurst will commence this year.
The intersection of Mitre, Suttor and Lambert streets has been a hot topic in Bathurst for the past two and a half years, it coming under scrutiny after a car ploughed into the fence of The Assumption School.
Bathurst Regional Council's last three updates on the project to construct a roundabout were regarding council seeking permission from Crown Lands to utilise the Scout Hall land for its water infrastructure.
Councillor Alex Christian said that the community was largely unaware that there has been other work going on in the background.
That includes the Telstra scope of work, design and estimate, which is now complete; the completion of geometric design; and the electricity and lighting design and planning, which is nearly complete.
The NBN is also investigating and designing its network requirements, although a commitment of price won't come until after work is scheduled.
"There is a lot happening in the background. This project hasn't stalled," Cr Christian said.
Achieving this project is of great importance to Cr Christian, who has aligned himself with deputy mayor Bobby Bourke and councillor Ian North to see it delivered as soon as possible.
Councillors Bourke and North have wanted to address the intersection for many years, but have lacked the support in the chamber.
With more than a decade of time on council each, they know how long it can take to get projects moving, but they are confident construction will start by the end of 2019.
The challenge will be picking the right time of year given the level of disruption construction will create.
Cr North said other unanticipated projects have popped up and pushed the roundabout back as well, such as the loss of Howards Bridge, so it was important for council to give this project priority moving forward.
It's particularly important given the community interest in the intersection, as a petition with more than 5000 signatures demonstrates.
"One in eight people want this roundabout and in 16 years ... I have never seen a one in eight response," Cr North said.
Cr Bourke said the hurdles that will take the longest to get over are the design and going to tender, but anticipated the roundabout would be operational in late 2020.
"If I had to predict, I think it will be done not this September, but September next year," he said.
There has been $1.7 million set aside, but costs may change during the construction process.