Hill chaos 'greater'

THE $310 million Banora Point upgrade will create more traffic chaos for Tweed drivers, according to the Community Highway Group.

As surveyors from the Roads and Traffic Authority lay out markers and clear paths, testing elements of the concept design that was given planning approval last month, the CHG wants to meet with both Federal and State politicians to air their continued concerns.

“This is only the concept design, so until the final design is done the community has its chance to make known that the design of the road as it is, is not appropriate and will not meet the needs of the Tweed's growing community,” said CHG member Rod Bates.

“They have already started pre-construction works and construction is supposed to start at the end of this year.”

Mr Bates said the CHG has written asking to meet with NSW Roads Minister Michael Daley, who they say needs to see first-hand what the community's concerns are.

“We're concerned about the fact that the southern interchange is not included as part of the plan, and will be staged, so it may never eventuate,” said Mr Bates.

“We're also concerned about the hydrology and the affect on localised flooding, especially around the northern interchange where thousands of tonnes of fill will have to be brought in to raise the road so Darlington Drive can go underneath.

“We're also concerned about the limited access local road users will have to the new road, because all local traffic will still have to use the existing highway.

“Imagine the chaos that will be caused if the southern interchange is not built. It will turn Sexton Hill into an even bigger traffic snarl and black spot.”

Retired engineer and CHG member John Sweeney said the RTA has ignored local knowledge and has missed the opportunity to flood-proof Banora Point by not building a viaduct, or an elevated road on concrete columns at the northern end of the 2.5-kilometre dual carriageway upgrade.

“The CHG's tunnel option would not have resulted in any of these problems at the northern or southern interchange.”

The CHG has also sought a meeting with Member for Richmond Justine Elliot, who announced the project's environmental assessment planning approval with Minister Daley last month.

“If the Federal Government is handing over $210 million for the project and she is the local member, surely she should have some say about the project's design.”

Member for Tweed Geoff Provest confirmed that Minister Daley had agreed to meet with the CHG, but a date was still be to be confirmed, although he believed it would be when NSW Parliament resumed next month.

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