Pedestrian Access A Must For New Dubbo Bridge

Dubbo Region Councillor Greg Mohr said he hopes federal government involvement in the River Street Bridge will result in pedestrian access being included in the proposed project.

It was announced in last week’s federal budget that the Australian government would invest $176 million to the River Street Bridge project while the NSW government would provide $44 million. Previously the NSW Government had committed to funding the full $140 million they were predicting would be required to complete the project.

Councillor Mohr, who is the chair of Council’s Infrastructure and Liveability Committee and the Local Traffic Committee, said with the projected cost of the bridge increasing from $140 million to $220 million, it would be unthinkable for a footpath to not be included.

“Months ago I tried to tell the state government that the new bridge must have a footpath for pedestrians.  It’s absolutely reckless that in modern Australia we would be encouraging pedestrians to share the exact same space with B-Doubles on a major highway bridge,” Councillor Mohr said.

“The original $140 million proposal didn’t include a footpath or footbridge. I understand that since I raised my concerns there has been some discussion to potentially include pedestrian access, and with federal government stepping in to provide the majority of funding, I would hope they would ensure that happens.

“In my time as a truck driver I saw what happened when pedestrian traffic wasn’t kept separate from vehicles.  From my own professional experience I know the current bridge design is an accident waiting to happen.”

Councillor Mohr restated his opposition to the proposed location of bridge and support for a ring road to take heavy vehicle traffic out of Dubbo but said if the project was to go ahead it should meet the needs of as many people as possible.

“I don’t agree that the River Street Bridge proposal is the best outcome for our city’s long term traffic congestion.  However, at the very least they need to make it safe and maximise its value for all users. I’m hoping the federal government’s influence will help the RMS make the right decisions in respect to road safety,” Councillor Mohr said.

“To spend $220 million on a bridge that is supposed to provide access during flood events and not make it suitable for foot traffic could have potentially deadly consequences.”

Last Edited: 05 Jan 2021

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