Ballina Councillor Jeff Johnson at the Cumbalum interchange on Monday. Picture: Rebecca Fist
Ballina Councillor Jeff Johnson at the Cumbalum interchange on Monday. Picture: Rebecca Fist

Renewed push for motorway access at Ballina Heights

BALLINA Shire Councillor Jeff Johnson thinks it is time Cumbalum residents have better access to the Pacific Motorway.

A southbound on-ramp and northbound off-ramp are on the wishlist for Cr Johnson.

He says council has met state government demands, and opened much of Ballina Heights to residential development, and it is time the state government provided infrastructure to accommodate new residents.

"The NSW Government as part of its North Coast Regional Strategy insisted that the land on the eastern side of the highway from the Cumbalum Interchange all the way up to Ross Lane at Tintenbar be rezoned from rural to residential allotments," Cr Johnson said.

"This designated urban expansion area will have an eventual yield of more than 3500 homes plus a commercial precinct, large open space areas and schools.

"The traffic congestion heading into Ballina from the north, including from the Cumbalum area, will only increase as the rollout of new homes continues over the next 10-15 years."

Ballina Councillor Jeff Johnson at the Cumbalum interchange on Monday. He says there is plenty of room to construct a southbound on-ramp beside the current off-ramp. Picture: Rebecca Fist
Ballina Councillor Jeff Johnson at the Cumbalum interchange on Monday. He says there is plenty of room to construct a southbound on-ramp beside the current off-ramp. Picture: Rebecca Fist

Cr Johnson said the on and off ramps would cost far less than council's west arterial road, costed at about $47 million, and serving the same purpose.

He is seeking the support of his colleagues on council, hoping to pass a notice of motion on Thursday at the March meeting.

He would like to see detailed designs by the Roads and Maritime Services, which have been shelved until the motorway upgrade is complete.

"With the likelihood that there will be additional significant state and federal government stimulus measures being provided to local councils, this project should be one of the priorities in terms of road funding initiatives," Cr Johnson said.

Council will write to relevant federal and state MPs and ministers urging for funding for the project if the notice of motion is approved.

His push follows community advocacy for the completion of the Cumbalum interchange.