Proposed solutions aimed at limiting the traffic impact in one of Orange’s busiest streets when a new rail overpass bridge is built, have gone on-show for community comment.
The plans show a number of proposed detours for traffic on Forest Road when work begins later this year to build a new bridge over the railway line.
The $2.5 million project, being managed by Orange City Council, has received a total of $1.25 million in funding through the NSW Government’s Restart NSW Fixing Country Roads program and $1.25 million in funding provided by the Australian Government’s Bridges Renewal Program.
Orange Mayor John Davis said because it will take 12 months to complete the construction project, planning of detours and other ways to minimise the potential impacts is already well under way.
“In a project of this scale, some of the planning that happens to minimise the impact takes the shape of a thorough ‘Review of Environmental Factors’ (REF) assessment, “ Cr Davis said.
“This means a team of consultants looks at not only the bridge itself, but the potential problems that could happen during the construction phase.”
"They’ll be looking at factors including detours around the bridge site, and how best to manage traffic flow when the part of the road-way has to be closed.”
"We want to listen to community views on these matters so the whole REF will be up for comment. Residents and businesses in the area will have the opportunity to have their say. A new community engagement web-site will assist this process."
Proposed detour maps released
The REF examines the Council’s plan to undertake the bridge construction while maintaining traffic through the worksite. With the exception of heavy vehicles, which would be required to detour around the work site, traffic will be maintained through the work site for as long as practically possible and in consideration of Work Health and Safety.
When access across the bridges is closed, traffic would be diverted along Gardiner Road, Anson Street and the southern feeder Road, adding 1.08 kilometres to a journey.
Unrestricted two way traffic will be maintained for as long as practical. Full closure of the road will be necessary but limited to high risk activities such as crane lifts.
The details of the REF outline how traffic would be affected during different stages of the project.
The REF also confirms the council’s plan to evaluate construction tenders on criteria including the contractors’ ability to minimise disruption to all road users.
"Letters will go out to all adjacent property owners. There will be signs, message boards, meetings with Orange Heath Service, Cadia, Orange buses as well as emergency services. We'll be asking the media for assistance and using social media to communicate with residents about any road closures," Cr Davis said.
Construction work is expected to take about 12 months to complete with work in to begin September. "This a major boost to transport infrastructure in Orange that will lead to much better access by heavy transport to these industrial areas. We’ll be asking for the patience of Orange residents when work gets underway but we’ll be doing all we can to minimise the impact of the project," Cr Davis said.