Albury Council election 2016: Cr Kevin Mack puts Thurgoona connector road back on the agenda

ALBURY Council candidate Kevin Mack has called for an urgent re-visit of plans for the east-west connector road in Thurgoona to alleviate traffic snarls in the city's growth corridor.

MATTER OF URGENCY: Thurgoona Drive becomes gridlock at certain times of the day and needs attention, according to Cr Kevin Mack. Picture: ELENOR TEDENBORG

MATTER OF URGENCY: Thurgoona Drive becomes gridlock at certain times of the day and needs attention, according to Cr Kevin Mack. Picture: ELENOR TEDENBORG

The council put the $20 million project to extend Corrys Road to Kerr Road on hold in 2014 due in part to the risk to the endangered squirrel glider and vulnerable bird species.

But Cr Mack said the rapid development of the Thurgoona-Wirlinga corridor should bring the connector road plan back on the incoming council.

“The current load on infrastructure is increasing,” Cr Mack said.

“In the last four years we've had over 700 residential development applications approved in that corridor.

“We need to do some critical thinking about what is required to allow consistent traffic flow.”

The area is forecast to almost double Albury’s existing population of 52,000 people within five decades.

Acquisition of 103,432 square metres of private land and a 50-metre bridge over the Eight Mile Creek floodplain was linked to the connector road preferred option.

Cr Mack said costings were already included in council's long-term budgeting projections.

“It's not dead and buried,” he said.

“Council is undertaking environmental studies in that corridor.

“We need to find a compromise between the environment and the need to improve the traffic infrastructure.

“But the people of Thurgoona need to be able to get to work on time.”

Cr Mack said the travel time from Thurgoona to the Albury and Wodonga central business districts had ballooned out due to traffic congestion in the Thurgoona area.

Thurgoona Progress Association spokeswoman Bridget O'Connor said the organisation remained opposed to the previous preferred option.

She said the solution to the traffic issues were to the north of Thurgoona Drive.

“There were concerns the road would bisect the Corrys woodland which is a highly valued area of open space,” she said.

“Traffic should actually be taken out of Thurgoona to the north and we are trying to promote the idea of a ring road out onto the northern part of the freeway.”