UPGRADING the Hereford Street corridor is set to be one of the key priorities of the new Bathurst Regional Council in its truncated term.
Hereford Street is known for its congestion at peak times as thousands of residents try to get to and from the various Kelso estates in the morning and afternoon.
Last year, council resolved to endorse the upgrade of the busy road corridor "as a priority", and proceed to identifying funding opportunities to achieve the various elements of the upgrade.
It came after council received a preliminary design from WSP Australia, one of the recommendations in which was to make Hereford Street two lanes in each direction.
Mayor Robert Taylor, who became a councillor and rose to the city's top job in a matter of days last month, said the project was "most important" and four lanes would "make a huge difference" to the road corridor.
He believes the other councillors, four of which were elected for the first time last year, share his drive to address the problems on Hereford Street.
"It is a priority and it is a priority for most of the councillors," he said.
"... Everyone on council at the moment is on board with that issue. With everyone on that same page, I think we can address it."
He said the last council got "well under way" with the planning for the expansion of Hereford Street, but the outstanding issue is funding.
The project is estimated to cost in excess of $25 million and council does not have that sort of money available.
It would have to pursue funding from higher levels of government and Cr Taylor isn't afraid to go asking.
"I will definitely lobby for funding from state and federal funding," he said.
Although eager to get that funding, council could have trouble securing it.
Member for Bathurst Paul Toole, now the deputy premier, has previously said that council would have to commit "serious dollars" of its own if it wanted NSW Government funding.
The $25 million preliminary design proposal, which does not account for the costs of land acquisition and utility relocation, includes several measures to improve traffic flow.
Among those measures is the signalisation of the Hereford and Gilmour Street intersection and associated widening of Gilmour Street; the construction of a new four-lane bridge; and the duplication of Hereford Street to two lanes in each direction between Gilmour and Stanley streets.
For traffic to flow smoothly, there would also need to changes made to Durham, George, Elizabeth and Stanley streets.
Cr Taylor said it would be difficult to get the project finished in the shortened council term, which ends in September 2024, but he wants to make enough progress so a new council only has to finish the job.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content: