Brisbane Water Dr option is constrained

Letters to the editor

Matthew Wales is absolutely right that we need to look at new options, in lieu of the illfated Bulls Hill underpass, to improve future traffic access to the Peninsula (Look at alternatives to rail crossing, says chamber, Peninsula News, October 16).

I have long advocated that widening the Shoalhaven Dr underpass to allow two caronly lanes would provide some immediate relief at minimal cost, but this could clearly be only a stop-gap measure. Eventually, there has to be a proper vehicular access way to and through the Peninsula that will accommodate all classes of traffic and that will provide for separate bus lanes, at least during the hours of heaviest traffic use.

The disadvantage of the Bulls Hill project, apart from its $150 million cost, was that, after spending all that money, we’d have still been left with the secondclass and dangerous Woy Woy Rd, as the link from Kariong to the underpass, and a bad access way along Nagari Rd to reach the Peninsula. The suggestion for widening Brisbane Water Dr looks obvious on the face of it, but much of the road’s length is constrained by abutting development, so that a properly designed new road would call for considerable property acquisition and/or land reclamation from Brisbane Water, neither of which courses would be likely to go unchallenged. Furthermore, this would still only give access to the West Gosford intersection from where there is a very poor connection to Kariong along a badly engineered and restricted highway, incidentally one of the reasons why Gosford is an inferior choice to Wyong/Tuggerah as the regional capital.

It is pretty obvious that the spine-road access to the Peninsula has to be along Ocean Beach Rd which would require substantial upgrading and extensive traffic management measures to continue to carry the traffic volumes we can anticipate with population growth. Finance wise, this could easily be achieved by resuming the frontage properties and selling the replotted remainders of the sites for high-rise residential development. In fact, the Council could probably turn a handsome profit out of this transaction, if it had the political will to bear the opprobrium that such a venture would inevitably attract. It is difficult to understand why a realignment notice was not put on Ocean Beach Rd many years ago when its impact would have been minimal.

The crux of the problem is how to get from the M1 to Ocean Beach Rd, and it has to be said that the idea of a Mt White interchange, with all its disadvantages of damage to the national park, looks an attractive possibility. Linked through to Brisbane Water Dr, it would even provide a decent entryway to Gosford, if the authorities are determined to pursue the nonsense that Gosford is the best location from which to serve the regional population. The obvious way to get the State Government onside for this proposal would be to make the link road a tollway: our state politicians love tollways and let nothing stand in their way when a good tollway is in the offi ng, so this might be the strategy to pursue by Matthew Wales and his associates. I offer it for what it’s worth.

Email, 17 Oct 2017 Bruce Hyland, Woy Woy