THE sod was finally turned on the much-touted upgrades to Richmond Road on Saturday.
NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell and Roads Minister Duncan Gay came out to launch the works, which will make Richmond Road a four-lane divided road connecting new residential and industrial developments at Marsden Park with the M7. Mr O’Farrell dug the shovel in between Bells Creek and Townson Road, not far from a new business park which will include an Ikea and Bunnings.
“We brought forward this vital project because of its importance to supporting new housing and employment lands in western Sydney,” Mr O’Farrell said.
“Richmond Road is a key arterial road for the North West growth centre – it will link the new residential and employment lands to the M7. Families buying a new home in Sydney’s growth areas want to know the government will deliver the essential infrastructure like upgraded roads to make these neighbourhoods function.’’
Also present on Saturday were Riverstone MP Kevin Conolly, Londonderry MP Bart Bassett and Hawkesbury MP Ray Williams. Mr Conolly called it a “win for the Riverstone electorate”, while Mr Bassett said the project would ease traffic congestion. The first stage of the upgrade is estimated to cost $46 million, and will help the building of 12,000 homes and delivery of 10,000 new jobs.
Mr Gay said ‘‘the project will feature an upgraded intersection with traffic lights at Townson Road and intersections to serve the Colebee Precinct and Marsden Park industrial precinct’’.
Stage 2 should begin mid-2014.