Tunnel tops the Sexton wish list


A TWEED residents and business roads group remains committed to a tunnel option for the Sexton Hill Pacific Highway upgrade and is hopeful its next meeting with the RTA might result in more support for the tunnel.

Group spokesman John Murray is confident the Sexton Hill tunnel would not cause problems like the collapsing Lane Cove tunnel in Sydney this week, which left a block of flats teetering over a deep hole and forced residents to evacuate.

"The Sydney tunnel which collapsed is in sandstone and shale but our tunnel would be through solid basalt rock, like the tunnels on the Yelgun to Chinderah freeway," Mr Murray said.

The Tweed group met on Thursday night, after latest talks with RTA regional general manager Bob Higgins on Monday, when the State roads agency reiterated a promise to provide costings for Option C.

Mr Murray, the Tweed Chamber of Commerce president, yesterday said the local roads committee, including members of the chamber and Banora Point Residents Association, was firmly in favour of the tunnel as part of a regional roads upgrade for South Tweed including a Kirkwood Road highway interchange.

Mr Murray said the local roads group had engaged an engineering firm specialising in road design for detailed analysis of Option C, including gradients, a hill cutting, the tunnel, intersections and local road links.

"Option C with the tunnel is the only option delivering a suitable outcome for the local business community, residents and highway through traffic," Mr Murray said.

"We believe we have met the technical requirements for the highway, we have avoided the massive number of traffic lights contained in the RTA's earlier options.

"We are hopeful of continuing to work closely with the RTA," Mr Murray said.

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