Link road is a non-starter

I READ with interest P. Laverty’s letter (SCR, June 6) about the extra lane proposal by the Shoalhaven Action council candidates. It seems to me that a great many residents are unaware that our current crop of councillors appears to have abandoned a link road between North Nowra and Bomaderry.They’re going to spend the $10.4 million, so assiduously hoarded for more than six years now, on two significant recreational assets in the northern Shoalhaven – the Nowra Olympic Pool and the Bomaderry Basketball Stadium. Not that these are unworthy projects, given that the swimming pool is leaking pollutants into the Shoalhaven River and the stadium is clothed in deadly asbestos cement.So why has the iconic link road suddenly fallen out of favour? Could it be that there’s an election in the air?Where are the other council aspirants when it comes to some other practical short-term way of easing the current traffic congestion on both Illaroo Road and the highway, let alone dealing with the increasing nightmare to be generated by plans for future urban expansion north of the river?As for the cost of an additional lane at the Illaroo Road-highway intersection, it would be a lot cheaper than the $20 million plus for a link road through the middle of the Bomaderry Creek bushland.And, as far as the western bypass is concerned, I wouldn’t hold my breath. It’s been 30 years off so far for each of the 32 years I’ve lived in the northern Shoalhaven.As necessary as a link road is (not one through the middle of the bushland I hasten to add), we should stop kidding ourselves that it offers an effective answer to getting traffic off Illaroo Road, or dreaming of a western bypass which would do little but ease the holiday season gridlocks.We really need to get our heads around a resolution of the current road congestion both north and south of the river by making the existing highway work more effectively.In my view (and many others) we need a replacement of the 120-year-old bridge with a new one on the eastern side to link the highway north and south of the river into the proposed East Nowra sub-arterial road (ENSAR). ENSAR is an urgently needed measure to relieve the even worse traffic congestion south of the river. Linking it into the highway north of the river, with an overpass at the highway for Illaroo Road and one over Moss Street, would eliminate the need for four sets of traffic lights.At what cost I hear you say? And my answer is: no more than a western bypass – a plan that could be put into effect progressively requiring a shorter time frame in getting things going.In the meantime, a dedicated left-turn lane at the Illaroo Road-highway intersection seems to me to be the most likely immediate option that our next crop of councillors should be considering.T. Barratt,Bomaderry.This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.