HIGHWAY: Lack of plan means trucks still coming
HEAVY vehicle restrictions on the proposed Glenugie Interchange means Ulmarra and Tyndale will continue to experience a high number of truck movements once the Pacific Motorway is completed.
Community groups from both villages located along the existing Pacific Highway have campaigned over a number of years for safety measures and many residents felt the proposed opening of the bypass in 2020 would bring a sigh of relief. But the lack of plans to upgrade Eight Mile Lane, which is currently unsuitable for B-double trucks, means trucks heading southbound to Grafton and northbound from Grafton will be required to travel the 28km stretch and use the Tyndale Interchange.
A high-speed on-off ramp will be constructed for northbound vehicles heading to Grafton and southbound from Grafton a short distance south of Eight Mile Lane (see picture on right).
The Daily Examiner reported on the lack of plans for Eight Mile Lane to be upgraded in January this year. But for many at a community meeting with the RMS at Brushgrove Hall on Monday night it was the first time had heard and the revelation came as a shock.
While the primary purpose of the meeting was for the RMS to discuss the possibility of changing the name of the stretch of existing highway between South Grafton and Tyndale to an extension of the Gwydir Highway - an idea flatly rejected by residents in attendance - the Glenugie Interchange was one of several other issues raised.
"This was a bit of a shock to a lot of people.
"The Glenugie Interchange is not a four-way on and off for heavy vehicles, so heavy vehicles will have to come off at Tyndale,” Anne Lloyd, from the Tyndale Progress Association, said.
"An upgrade of Eight Mile Lane was not in the brief for Pacific Complete and it's a council road.
"This was a huge shock to a lot of people because the whole idea was to get the heavy vehicles off this part of the highway.
"The RMS and Clarence Valley Council agreed there will be further discussions in regard to the current unsuitability of B-double trucks to use the Glenugie exit to Eight Mile Lane.
"The RMS has also undertaken to return to the community with further developments on some signage matters pertaining to the M1.
"Thank you to RMS and CVC for attending with open minds and in the spirit of concilliation.”