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ROAD users in Albury-Wodonga and the Towong shire are being urged to bombard the NSW Government with demands to widen the “goat track” leading to the Bethanga Bridge.
The government’s decision to merely patch the 2.7 kilometre road near The Pines reserve has infuriated locals Julie de Hennin and John Butko, and five other regular users of the road.
Yesterday they said the NSW Roads and Maritime Services upgrade, due to start next week, was unacceptable for a dangerous, uneven, winding road that in places is only six metres wide.
Ms de Hennin, of Talgarno, is secretary of Peninsula Neighbourhood Watch.
She said locals would be dismayed at the lack of positive action for this part of the Riverina Highway.
Ms de Hennin said the road was dangerous as the mix of cars, cyclists, school buses, B-doubles, livestock and other trucks meant all were at risk because the road was so narrow and lacked shoulders.
RMS regional manager Steve Warrell told Ms de Hennin in August that “we have only limited funding in the foreseeable future, with many demands across out network”.
Mr Warrell said latest statistics showed the heaviest traffic volume was about 2500 vehicles a day, rising to 3500 in holiday periods.
But Mr Butko said the Bellbridge township was growing and Towong shire was encouraging residential growth on the Victorian side of the bridge.
Six years ago the Murray Darling Basin Commission funded a $12 million rehabilitation of the bridge before handing over the 875-metre structure to the NSW and Victorian governments.
“But the NSW government has done absolutely nothing about the road to the bridge,” Mr Butko said.
“I’ve measured the road and in parts it is only six to 6.2 metres wide without any shoulder, so if a truck driver suddenly sees a cyclist ahead, the truck has nowhere to go.”
“We urge people to write to the government and tell them this road must be widened to a proper standard.”
Neighbour Alastair Bass said he was concerned about motorists unfamiliar with the road.
“The locals know where to slow down on the bends, but visitors don’t,” he said.