Chamber calls for Woy Woy Rd review
Peninsula Chamber of Commerce has called on Gosford Council to reconsider the alignment of Woy Woy Rd at Bulls Hill amid fears that work on Woy Woy Rd will coincide with the reconstruction of the West Gosford intersection.
"The business community, commuters and residents can't afford to have Woy Woy Rd closed and the West Gosford intersection carved up at the same time," said Chamber president Mr Matthew Wales.
"We are hoping that both the State Government, who are funding the project, and Gosford Council, who will manage the project, will see the logic of reviewing the current process and timing.
"Otherwise we can all expect chaos on our major entry roads to the Peninsula," said Mr Wales.
"The Chamber has strongly urged the Council to reconsider the alternative road alignment through the National Park and the old Nichols Quarry so that the existing carriageway can remain open while the new underpass and road deviation are under construction.
"To date, Council has chosen to push on with the design and costing of the adopted Woy Woy Rd scheme which is estimated to cost $67 million in total.
"The current adopted scheme for Woy Woy Rd is likely to see the closure of the road for at least 12 months as it proposes the duplication of Bulls Hill with two lanes in both direction.
"This will involve major road works with significant excavation of the Bulls Hill escarpment."
Mr Wales said that, while the Chamber welcomed the announcement of $17 million to be spent on the West Gosford intersection, it was concerned about the timing of the project.
"Roads and Maritime Services has advised the Chamber that the property acquisition process and demolition works at the West Gosford intersection should be well advanced by mid-2013 and we would imagine this phase of the project should be completed by early 2014.
"This would indicate that, funding permitted, road construction works could be underway later next year.
"This is similar timing to the proposed Woy Woy Rd rail underpass and Bulls Hill reconstruction which the State Government committed to completing the first phase by 2014-2015.
"The Chamber has been advised that the RMS did not favour the Option 8 proposal because of the difficulty of gaining the necessary approvals through the Brisbane Water National Park.
"It is our view that due to the cost and logistics of duplicating the Bulls Hill carriageway, the Option 8 proposal should at least be reviewed so that an up-to-date assessment can be made.
"The Chamber has since been advised that the cost to undertake the design investigations for the rail underpass could now be as much as $3M with the current $1M allocation from the State Government being insufficient to complete these works.
"Further, the cost to construct the rail underpass alone is estimated at $35M.
"Whilst the Chamber supports the project in principle, the cost/benefit would have to be questionable at these estiamted rates."
Media Release, 14 Jun 2012
Matthew Wales, Peninsula Chamber of Commerce