Roads and Maritime Services has finalised a technical review of an eight kilometre section of the Warrell Creek to Urunga upgrade between Wedgewood Drive south of Macksville and the Nambucca State Forest west of Nambucca Heads, including the crossing of the Nambucca River.
Following consideration of all issues raised by the community and other stakeholders during the community feedback period of the technical review it is considered that there has not been any issue raised that would have significant impacts on the recommendation provided in the alignment review report. The report found that the alternative alignment does not merit further investigation.
The Warrell Creek to Urunga technical review report of an alternative alignment was available for community feedback on the RMS project website from 27 March 2012 to 20 April 2012. Printed copies were also made available at a number of locations within the project area. Submissions were invited from the community and other stakeholders.
A total of 33 submissions were received during the feedback period, including submissions from representatives for the Environment Protection Authority, the Kingsworth Estate Residents Group, and the Nambucca Highway Action Group. Out of the 33 submissions received, 30 were in favour of the approved alignment. The issues raised in the submissions received included;
- The need for the review
- Cost estimates
- Social and economic impacts
- Visual impacts and amenity
- Flora and fauna
- Water quality
- Timing of start of construction
- The method to compare the alignments.
Each submission has been examined to identify the issues raised and a response to each issue has been prepared and detailed in a submissions report. Where considered appropriate, clarification has been provided on specific aspects of issues raised and corrections made in relation to several errors in the draft alignment review report.
The technical review found that when considering functionality, environmental, social and economic criteria, the approved alignment offers overall greater performance than the alternative alignment. In addition the alternative alignment would be $103 million (2012 dollars) more expensive. The report found that the alternative alignment does not merit further investigation.
The project team will now continue with pre-construction activities in the eight kilometre section including geotechnical and environmental investigations and property acquisitions.