$18m to fix North Richmond gridlock

If this sight looks familiar, then you are one of the many long-suffering commuters from west of the river who battle this each day. Picture: Kylie Pitt

If this sight looks familiar, then you are one of the many long-suffering commuters from west of the river who battle this each day. Picture: Kylie Pitt

WORKS to improve congestion on roads leading to North Richmond Bridge will start in July after $18 million was allocated in the federal budget.

The short term works given the go-ahead were identified in a $2m Richmond Bridge and approaches congestion study undertaken by the Labor government in 2010.

Macquarie MP Louise Markus welcomed the $18m funding in the Coalition’s federal budget.

“I am pleased to work for a government that delivers and that’s what this commitment, as confirmed in the federal budget, is about. I have worked hard, along with my state colleague, (Londonderry MP) Bart Bassett to ensure this funding is secured over the next three years,’’ she said.

Mr Bassett said he’d been lobbying for the project since his time as Hawkesbury mayor.

“I’ve received a commitment from Roads and Maritime Services, which will be managing the construction works, that the construction will commence early in the next financial year, which starts July 2014,’’ he said.

Labor spokesperson for Macquarie Susan Templeman said it’s ‘‘absolute deceit to claim this is a Liberal initiative when the money was already allocated by Labor’’.

‘‘It’s simply a re-announcement of the funding that I secured in 2010 and Labor set aside and committed for the project, to be spent from 2014-15 onwards,’’ she said.

“What’s even more concerning is that the RMS has projected the cost of completing the project to be $28 million, yet neither the Abbott government, nor the NSW government have stumped up the additional $10 million.

Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese, said the Abbott government is deliberately misleading the community by trying to pretend this is new money.

The $18 million funding will be available over three years.

Work that will take place includes:

● At the Bells Line of Road/Grose Vale Road intersection: two dedicated right-turn lanes from Grose Vale Road into Bells Line of Road eastbound and two westbound through-lanes on Bells Line of Road;

● At the Kurrajong Road /Old Kurrajong Road intersection: a right-turn bay for eastbound traffic on Kurrajong Road turning into Old Kurrajong Road and a left-turn lane from Old Kurrajong Road into Kurrajong Road west bound with an acceleration lane;

● At the Kurrajong Road/Bosworth Street intersection; a right-turn bay from Kurrajong Road into Bosworth Street southbound; banning right turns from March Street into Bosworth Street northbound and restricted parking on a section of Kurrajong Road during peak periods.

The Gazette has been reporting on community outrage over the traffic issue for many years.

The Gazette has been reporting on community outrage over the traffic issue for many years.

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