Stop $500,000 underpass study

Cr George Campbell at the site of the proposed underpass linking St Hilliers Road and Marion Street.

Story appeared in: Review | February 12th, 2018

IN A rare show of bipartisanship, Liberal and Labor councillors voted together at their first 2018 meeting to rescind a motion passed at Cumberland Council's December 13 meeting.
Labor Councillors George Campbell and Kun Huang had asked for a report on the "feasibility and cost of constructing a railway underpass linking St Hilliers Road and Marion Street, and on any variation of this that would deliver similar traffic benefits".
However at Wednesday's meeting, Peter Fitzgerald, Cumberland's group manager, roads and waste, noted that compiling a detailed engineering report for the proposal would cost nearly half a million dollars.
Liberals Crs Ned Attie, Joseph Rahme and Michael Zaiter moved the rescission motion and Cr Tom Zreika said that while they were not against an underpass in principle, the cost of the project was too high for the council.
"The information that was provided to the council on Wednesday night suggested that the costs to build the proposed underpass, would be more than $80 million," Cr Zreika said.
"Given the State Government is the architect for so much of the capital works projects and infrastructure development occurring throughout the State, we should ask them to pay for it."
A new motion to ask for a more basic, staff prepared report outlining the cost of the options that were available was supported by Cr Campbell who said it was in line with his original aim of getting information about the feasibility of an underpass.
"I would expect the council to present a proposal to the State Government. We do not need to draw up plans at this stage," he said.
"An underpass will not solve all traffic problems but would go a long way to relieve current congestion. We'll never know if we do nothing. Meanwhile the traffic is not going to diminish."
Our Local Community (OLC) Cr Paul Garrard was the only objector and said a detailed review of traffic flows in and around the LGA, was a higher priority than an underpass that would never be built.

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Publication: Review | Section: News | Author: Kim Palmer | Story ID: 134728 | Viewcount: 7708