Saunders: Busting a flood of bridge myths
IN June 2017, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian joined with my predecessor Troy Grant to announce River Street as the route for a new flood-proof crossing of the Macquarie River for Dubbo, after an extended period of community consultation resulted in River Street being declared the preferred location.
A lot has been said and written about the bridge since then, and I’m not naïve enough to suggest it has all been positive.
But, after the most recent round of community consultation, I thought it was a good chance to bust a few myths and correct some misinformation being circulated in relation to this project.
First and foremost, this bridge is NOT and was never planned to be a bypass of Dubbo.
Its primary purpose is to provide a second high-level crossing (the bridge itself will be almost as high as the LH Ford Bridge) to ease the burden on the existing flood-proof bridge when we go under water.
Sure, it will be used on a daily basis during non-flood times, and I have heard all the talk about congestion in West Dubbo, but there is no greater time of congestion and chaos than having all cars, trucks and bikes using one bridge to cross a river when it is bulging. Think back to 2010.
While it doesn’t seem like it now, this drought will break and we all know most droughts are followed by an almighty flood, so getting the second crossing completed is a priority.
But I am also on the record in saying that a low-level bridge to the south west of the city, along with a bypass, are projects we need for the future.
Each of those projects could have a big role to play in shaping the city’s future traffic flow but neither is anywhere close to being ready.
We need proper scoping studies and plans to get these rolling. I have already started discussions locally, but there needs to be a lot more work done and I’m looking forward to the possibilities.
I’ve also been involved in discussions around the natural bypass that is already being used by heavy vehicles travelling on
The Brisbane and River Street intersection.