Pacific Hwy upgrade's new Yamba exit ‘too hard’

In option B, showing north of the river on the right and south of the river on the left, drivers travelling south must veer left off the highway on the north side of the new bridge, take the third exit on a roundabout and then cross the river on the old bridge before they can link up with the Yamba Rd.
In option B, showing north of the river on the right and south of the river on the left, drivers travelling south must veer left off the highway on the north side of the new bridge, take the third exit on a roundabout and then cross the river on the old bridge before they can link up with the Yamba Rd.

YAMBA resident and businessman Simon Dougherty is one of a growing number of people calling for a simple solution to the options proposed for the new Harwood Bridge and interchange.

Earlier this month, Roads and Maritime Services released three options for public comment but Mr Dougherty says none will benefit Yamba.

On Monday, Mr Dougherty met with concerned members of the Yamba Chamber of Commerce to present an alternative.

"My concern is that most people looking at the current options will be under the illusion it (an exit ramp on the southern side of the bridge) was there," Mr Dougherty said.

"But that's not the case.

"The easiest option for Yamba is not one of the options being considered."

Mr Dougherty said the proposed exit to Yamba, when travelling south, was on the north side of the river.

He said this was confusing and not in the best interests of the town.

Yamba Chamber of Commerce vice president Sue Hughes agrees.

"The current options are a bit complicated and we don't want to drive people away from coming into Yamba," Ms Hughes said.

"From a chamber point of view we are pushing for increased tourism and want to make the exit as easy as possible."

Ms Hughes said the chamber planned to hold a meeting with the RMS and Clarence Valley Mayor Richie Williamson, to present what it sees as the best way forward.

Pacific Highway General Manager Robert (Bob) Higgins said Roads and Maritime Services had spent the past three years working with the community to determine the best outcome for the future Harwood and Yamba interchanges.

"There are plans to include southbound facing ramps at Yamba Road but current traffic use doesn't warrant them being built at this stage," Mr Higgins said.

"These ramps would also require further property acquisition.

"Roads and Maritime proposed that Yamba Road connect to Watts Lane via the existing Harwood Bridge as a local connector road during public consultation in March 2012 and again in the EIS process in January 2013.

"There were no submissions received about the Harwood Bridge or local access to Yamba Road during the EIS process."

Mr Higgins said further consultation is still being carried out on three options for the Harwood interchange and public comment is open until Friday February 6.

Mr Higgins will arrange to meet with the Chamber to explain the basis for the layout.

Public submissions can be made to the Roads and Maritime Services by Friday, February 6, 2015.

Topics:  bob higgins, pacific highway, rms, roads and maritime services, woolgoolga to ballina upgrade, yamba

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