AN extract from a media briefing note sent to Examiner journalist Adrian Miller by the RTA.
AN extract from a media briefing note sent to Examiner journalist Adrian Miller by the RTA.

Highway options bungle

By ADRIAN MILLER

DOCUMENTS released by the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) describing a modified eastern route for the upgrade of the Pacific Highway have allegedly been called a 'cock-up' by an RTA project manager.

A release given to The Daily Examiner said a modified eastern route, made from combining the green and red options, would be investigated by the RTA.

"While no preferred option has yet been chosen, the general consensus of workshop participants was that a modified eastern route ... would be further considered subject to safety, environmental, (and) Aboriginal heritage investigations," the statement said.

However, when contacted by Valley residents for a clarification, Diana Loges described the document as a 'cock-up'.

Gulmarrad resident Louise Sheehan said she had spoken to Ms Loges about the release.

"She said, and I will quote her, 'this is a cock-up', they were the exact words she used," she said.

"I asked how this happened and she said 'someone wrote it and we must apologise for the stress it's caused'."

The statement said the route would follow the green option from north of Pillar Valley to Brooms Head Road, and then the red option to the Harwood Bridge.

RTA Pacific Highway general manager Bob Higgins said the release did not mean a final decision on the upgrade route had been made.

"The RTA has not made any decision whatsoever on a decision for the highway," he said.

"We haven't made any decision, all we are doing is reporting the outcomes of a workshop."

News of the announcement surprised some VMW participants, who believed more investigations were to be undertaken on all the route options.

VMW participant Bruce Walsh said environmental, safety, flooding and Aboriginal heritage issues needed to be resolved before any option could be put forward.

"I'm very interested that they would make that statement because my understanding of the outcome of the workshop was that there was much more work to do," he said.

"That's not to say any of those issues are show stoppers, but there is a lot more work to be done before a particular option would be coming forward I would think."



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