Overpass in Limbo

Filed in Recent News by July 10, 2017

ROADS and Maritime Services has determined there is no clear direction from the Scone community on a preferred overpass option, finding some even questioned the need for one and leaving the overpass up in the air.

However, Cr Lee Watts disagrees stating the Council has never changed their position of an overpass near Elizabeth Park.

“We’ve forgotten about why this all started,” Cr Watts said.

“An overpass has always been what the community has wanted so that the town was not divided in half and for safety and that hasn’t changed,” she said.

“During this whole process Council’s position hasn’t changed it has been an overpass on Kelly Street at Elizabeth Park,” she said.

“I personally didn’t support the bypass, but Council does and the RMS have always said an overpass would be incorporated into the bypass and it needs to be built,” she said.

“The longer this drags out the less budget there will be, so we need to get started,” she said.

“It’s time for the state and federal members to step up and deliver this overpass,” Cr Lee Watts said.

The president of the Scone Chamber of Commerce, Ben Wyndham said the Chamber has been left out of the loop on progress and is yet to form a position on an overpass.

“Ensuring the bypass is done well is our primary focus at the moment,” said Mr Wyndham.

“It doesn’t affect the Chamber and small businesses in town as much as the bypass and the CBD (central business district) revitalisation,” he said.

“We’ll be surveying our members on a range of issues over the coming months and the overpass will definitely be one of them.

“In terms of the overpass, we don’t have any information and we’re not being engaged by the RMS or Council,” he said.

“Previously we’ve voted to support the Council’s preferred option; the idea of the sale yard overpass has support within the current committee,” he said.

“While the highway was crossing the railway lines it was an issue for the government to solve, now that the highway will not have a level crossing on it is now Scone’s town problem,” Ben Wyndham said.

Cr Sue Abbott has always personally opposed the bypass and the overpass maintaining sinking the railway line and following the example of the United States which moves 80 percent of its freight by rail instead of road is the best solution.

“I was always against the overpass, why don’t we put the trains underground I mean we can put a tunnel under the harbour so why can’t we sink the railway lines?” Cr Abbott said.

“And the bypass alarms me it will be 7 metres high and I’ve called for modelling so we can see what that will look like in our town and we haven’t seen it yet,” she said.

“There is no planning about where the netball and hockey will be played when the Bill Rose Sports complex goes, we have a great complex at the moment where children can walk to sport after school,” she said.

“Look I hope the bypass does work and I’m completely wrong but at the moment there are just responses of ‘we’re not sure’,” she said.

“What I would do is sink the railway line and get the trucks off the road and use the rail for more freight,” Cr Sue Abbott said.

The Roads and Maritime Service will continue to work with Council and the community to consider options for a rail bridge.

Related story: Editorial: Community Confusion Continues.