Berry bypass goes north

THE northern option for the Berry bypass will go ahead after estimates for the southern option indicated it would cost $100 million more.NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay said the northern option would now proceed to environmental assessment.The announcement ends months of speculation and at times acrimonious community debate that was triggered by the announcement in February of feasibility studies into the southern option, which had effectively been ruled out previously.The decision to engage a technical investigation group to examine in detail the southern option was prompted by a submission from a retired engineer Bruce Ramsay. He initially claimed the southern option had the potential be $50 million cheaper than the northern route.“The group included industry experts and RMS personnel,” Mr Gay said.“They prepared two route cost estimates for the entire Foxground and Berry bypass project, one incorporating a bypass to the north and one for a bypass to the south of Berry.“The cost difference between a bypass to the north and a bypass to the south is more than $100 million. The substantial savings for the Berry option makes it the clear choice,” Mr Gay said.Kiama MP Gareth Ward said the cost differential between the northern and southern options was prohibitive and it was time to get on with the highway upgrade.Deputy Mayor and Berry based councillor, Andrew Guile welcomed the decision.”Having participated in a number of the RMS information and feedback sessions, it has been obvious that the Berry community has been in some turmoil over this route issue. If there is anything good to have come out of the process it is that there is now certainty around the future for residents and property owners,” said Cr Guile.Details and reactions will appear in Wednesday’s SCR.This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.