Saun­ders: Bust­ing a flood of bridge myths

Dubbo Photo News - - News - By DUGALD SAUN­DERS

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

PHOTO: DUBBO PHOTO NEWS/FILE

The Bris­bane and River Street in­ter­sec­tion.

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