REVEALED: New plan for dangerous stretch of Bruxner Hwy
TOO many fatalities, crash injuries and near-misses has prompted Lismore MP Janelle Saffin to plan a major realignment of the Bruxner Highway to bypass the notorious Alphadale blackspot.
The long-time advocate of the issue presented the significant realignment plan to the Minister for Transport and Roads, Paul Toole, this week.
Ms Saffin said the entire stretch desperately needed a complete overhaul for the future safety of its many motorists.
She said Lismore City Council's Traffic Advisory Committee data showed, from 2000 until the present, a total of 36 accidents have been recorded at the intersection of the Bruxner Hwy and Alphadale Road to the south and Cowlong Road to the north.
This data does not include the motorcyclist who died 200m east of the Alphadale intersection recently.
"From 2014 until present, nine accidents had been recorded, including three resulting in serious injury," Ms Saffin said.
"There have been five fatalities among the accidents, some involving multiple vehicles, dating back to 2000.
"The Richmond Hill turn-off, also located on the highway but closer to Lismore, has recorded seven accidents from 2014 until the present, three of them resulting in serious injury.
"It carries the same near-miss reputation.
"These statistics do not include countless near-misses nor do they take account of how drivers go out of their way using the intersection."
Ms Saffin revealed the new alignment the Bruxner Hwy would run from Oliver Avenue-Ballina Road roundabout (Pineapple Road area), swing south of the Richmond Hill turn-off and north of Macadamia Processing Company Limited's plant and the Alphadale crossroads (Lindendale geographically) towards the approaches to Wollongbar hill.
"It probably would require a local overpass to be built on Cowlong Road, just north of the processing plant.
"The bypassed section of the former highway would become a local road.
"This approach also has the backing of the chairman of Lismore City Council's Traffic Advisory Committee, Cr Bill Moorhouse, a civil engineer with 45 years' experience."
In the meantime, Ms Saffin has suggested Transport for NSW should be investigating options to reduce traffic speed in this section from 80km/h to 60km/h as an interim safety measure.
She said she stood ready to work with Minister Toole, his Parliamentary Secretary and State Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis, Transport for NSW and Lismore City Council to make the Bruxner Highway safer for generations to come.
She further asked Transport for NSW to include two other sections of the highway as part of a current major review of the Bruxner's safety between Lismore and Ballina including:
•Straightening of the highway within an existing road reserve to eliminate a dangerous bend near Sunrise Crescent, west of the Goonellabah Media Centre - the scene of several truck rollovers which have nearly ended up in local residents' yards.
• Linked to this is the need to build a pedestrian walkway-cycleway on the western side of the highway from Sunrise Crescent to the Kadina roundabout, which serves as the entrance to The Rivers Secondary College's Kadina High campus.
•Finding an engineering solution to reducing worsening traffic congestion on the roundabouts either side of the Ballina Street Bridge, at the gateway to Lismore's CBD, which is particularly heavy approaching the South Lismore roundabout during peak times.
Transport for NSW and Minister for Transport and Roads Paul Toole have been approached for comment.