Committee recommends shelving new road
An East-West Connector Road linking the Thurgoona Wirlinga growth area to the Albury and Lavington CBD's has been put on hold and is unlikely to go ahead.
AlburyCity's Planning and Development Committee will recommend to Council that it not proceed with the road, rather that it work with the NSW Roads and Maritime Service on alternative transport options.
The connector road was originally identified in the Thurgoona Wirlinga Precinct Structure Plan as necessary to help cater for an additional 50,000 residents over the next five decades.
The structure plan identified that predicted population growth and urban development will eventually create capacity issues on Thurgoona Drive and the Riverina Highway in peak times, and that a new road connecting Kerr Road and Corrys Road would alleviate future traffic congestion.
Late last year, AlburyCity engaged consultants to review the proposal and undertake more detailed investigations on whether a new connector road was required. This involved extensive community and stakeholder consultation.
The findings were placed on public exhibition earlier this year and 36 submissions were received by Council including a petition signed by more than 270 people concerned about traffic, environmental, economic and social impacts.
AlburyCity Mayor, Kevin Mack says a detailed analysis has been undertaken of all submissions received and he thanked the community for their interest and input. "From the outset, we made it very clear that we would listen to the community and that all views raised would be considered as part of the decision making process".
"We also had to look very carefully at the significant investment required for both land acquisition and construction of the proposed 3.5KM road, and whether it was really necessary or justified based on the costs and benefits," Cr Mack said.
"Based on the analysis and feedback, we've come to the conclusion that while something still needs to be done to cater for future traffic demand in Thurgoona-Wirlinga, an East West Connector road is part of a bigger picture and not the answer in isolation".
Council will now work with the RMS to investigate future traffic demands and network requirements with particular focus on the overpasses and interchanges with the Hume Highway.