UPGRADES of two under-utilised Hume Highway crossings could be the short-term solution to linking the Thurgoona-Wirlinga growth corridor to Albury and Lavington.
Albury Council’s planning and development committee has recommended the council not proceed with the East-West connector and work with the NSW Roads and Maritime Service on alternative transport options.
The connector road was originally identified to cater for 50,000 residents over the next five decades in the Thurgoona-Wirlinga area.
The Fallon Street overpass and Corrys Road-Racecourse Road interchange are under-utilised in comparison to the Borella Road and Thurgoona Drive interchanges which wremain “pinch points” for traffic movements.
The East-West connector was proposed to link Corrys Road and Kerr Road.
Late last year, the council asked consultants for a detailed invest-igation into whether a connector road was required and its findings were placed on public exhibition.
A total of 36 submissions were received, including a petition signed by more than 270 people concerned about traffic, environmental, economic and social impacts related to the East-West connector road, which could cost up to $27.5 million.
Albury mayor Kevin Mack said a detailed analysis had been undertaken for all submissions.
“From the outset, we made it very clear that we would listen to the community and that all views raised would be considered as part of the decision making process,” he said.
“We also had to look very carefully at the significant investment required for both land acquisition and construction of the proposed 3.5-kilometre road, and whether it was really necessary or justified based on the costs and benefits.
“Based on the analysis and feedback, we’ve come to the conclusion that while something still needs to be done to cater for future traffic demand in Thurgoona-Wirlinga, an East-West Connector road is part of a bigger picture and not the answer in isolation.”
The council will work with RMS to investigate traffic demands and network requirements with a focus on the overpasses and interchanges with the Hume Highway.
It has been determined the duplication of the Riverina Highway and Thurgoona Drive won’t be enough to accommodate future traffic demands.