New plan for Ballina link road could save millions
A LINK between north and west Ballina, allowing traffic to flow and avoid several busy intersections has been tabled for years.
Now, after a planning tweak which could save tens of millions of dollars, Ballina Shire Council is seriously considering the project.
In the new proposal, traffic would still run from Tamarind Drive to River Street.
However, instead of turning at the Aldi intersection and running down Ferngrove Drive, traffic would turn at the Flathead Lane intersection.
On the River Street end, traffic heading along the western arterial road would turn up at Barlows Lane instead of Brampton Ave.
Ballina council's general manager Paul Hickey raised the matter via an online information session on council's draft delivery plan.
"Primary estimates indicate it could be done for a few million," Mr Hickey said.
"There's a road reserve that does exist, it's locked off at the moment.
"We can get this to a rural road standard within the next few years and it would provide a good connector between north and west Ballina, while council gets on with four-laning River Street and doing other road improvements."
He said the alternate link would remain in council's sights.
"It's in our long term plan," Mr Hickey said.
"A lot of the property's not owned by council, it's on a floodplain, it's very difficult to build, and council estimates it to cost between $30-50 million.
"While we are looking at whether we can do that, we will see if we can construct this Barlows Road Reserve."
Council will launch an investigation into the feasibility of the more affordable project, which will be completed in the upcoming financial year.