Sexton Hill upgrade plans ?horrendous

By ED SOUTHORN

A PLANNED Pacific Highway upgrade at Sexton Hill with up to seven sets of traffic lights between Barneys Point Bridge and the Tweed City shopping centre has lost the support of a local community liaison committee set up by the RTA.

More than 60 people protested outside the latest meeting of the committee at the Banora Point Multi Purpose Centre on Thursday night.

The protesters claim the RTA has ignored residents' advice that consulting engineers' plans to upgrade the highway will make local traffic congestion worse.

Liaison committee member Ray Tate yesterday said the RTA had refused to tell committee members costings for the two upgrade options for Sexton Hill prepared by Parsons Brinckerhoff.

Mr Tate, secretary of the Banora Point Residents Association, said RTA staff had insisted the liaison committee members not publicly discuss details of a new upgrade option believed to have been re- cently proposed by Tweed Shire senior staff.

He said genuine input from residents had not been allowed at the liaison committee meetings over the past 12 months, attended by RTA and Parsons Brinckerhoff representatives.

He said a proposed 350metre-long "viaduct" bridge between Somerset Avenue and Oyster Point Road, stretching 20 metres above the Sexton Hill valley and featured in both the Parsons Brinckerhoff options, was "visually horrendous" and would increase the noise from traffic.

Mr Tate said the RTA had refused a request by liaison committee members last year to investigate a 400-metre long tunnel, between Oyster Point Road and Darlington Drive, suggested by some of the committee members, which could allow the bridge to be constructed lower to the ground with reduced traffic noise.

Mr Tate said most of the committee members now supported a western freeway proposal by local pilot George Beattie, bypassing Tugun and Banora Point.



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