Safety fears for highway upgrade
MACLEAN resident Alen Essex said he is flabbergasted by the recent upgrade to the Farlows Flat Maclean/Yamba interchange on the Pacific Highway, raising concerns about safety claiming it is an accident waiting to happen.
Mr Essex is so concerned he has made a written submission earlier this week to the NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell, Minister for Roads Duncan Gay, and a number of other state embers outlining the problem as he sees it.
"Raising the highway and the southern end of the interchange above flood was all that was required to solve the (flooding) problem," Mr Essex said.
"Why has the RTA (sorry RMS) gone ahead and created what I believe are at least four black spots in this interchange by rearranging its layout away from the safe situation that has prevailed for 46 years?," Mr Essex said.
"To this day I do not recall any serious accidents caused due to bad design or visibility."
Mr Essex said during peak periods, he feared the new T intersections located on the southern side of the Harwood bridge would become death black spots, referring to previous conditions on the highway south of Ballina prior to the upgrade there.
"In the Ballina instance the turning lane immediately after a bridge would fill up because of slowing and stopped traffic, spilling into the main carriageway, banking up and blocking Emigrant Creek Bridge causing rear end crashes that resulted in a number of deaths.
"The Harwood Bridge situation has now been created and will have the same outcome because traffic exiting from bridge will need to reduce speed sooner and quicker than before over too short a distance to negotiate the sharp left bend."
Mr Essex said although he feared being called a crackpot, he believed his 47 years experience as a driver of heavy vehicles should be taken into account.
"This interchange situation takes the cake, plain stupidity and total waste of money," he said.
"All you professional drivers... all of you who see and known what happens on this road put pen to paper, email and tell it how it is when you get amidst heavy traffic."
The Daily Examiner has requested a response from Roads and Martime Services.