RTA is listening at last
By ED SOUTHORN
THE RTA has agreed to compare costings on options to upgrade the Pacific Highway at Sexton Hill, after a "very good" meeting with Tweed business and residents' groups yesterday. Tweed Chamber of Commerce president John Murray said a re- port outlining the RTA's evalua- tions of three options for Sexton Hill had now been promised to the local community within a fort- night, and the RTA also would meet with Tweed Shire officials to keep them informed. "For the first time in 16 months our general feeling is the RTA is seriously listening to us," Mr Murray said. He said his expectation was that recommendations might be made to Transport Minister John Wat- kins around February/March next year on upgrading the Pacific Highway between Barneys Point bridge and Kennedy Drive, includ- ing Sexton Hill. But Mr Murray said he did not
expect construction works to com- mence within five years. He said the chamber and Ban- ora Point Residents Association Option C included a tunnel through the hill, while the RTA's Options A and B included a cut- ting and a 27-metre high bridge on the south side of the hill. Mr Murray said the RTA had agreed to evaluate cost benefits for Option C, proposed by the chamber and residents association, including fewer traffic lights and less rat running. "We never said we wanted the cheapest option, we want the best option, but we don't think the gap in costings will be that great." Mr Murray said yesterday's meeting at the South Tweed Sports Club was attended by chamber and residents association members and the RTA's Pacific Highway regional manager Bob Higgins and Sexton Hill upgrade project manager John Keeling. An RTA spokesman confirmed the meeting but advised comment was not yet available.