Potential savings of roundabout $500,000

GUNNEDAH’S proposed rail overpass is a step closer to a starting date after a meeting late last month.

However, work on the project could begin earlier and save between $500,000 and $1 million if the NSW government agrees to start one of the proposed roundabouts, included as part of the project soon, says Gunnedah mayor Owen Hasler.

Councillor Hasler and Infrastructure Services director Wayne Kerr met with Roads and Maritime Services northern regional manager John Alexander on January 28.

The projected $25 million cost of the design and construction would blow out by a further $3 million to $4 million if “they do a couple of roundabouts rather than a slip lane (which) would allow entry and access to Barber St”, Cr Hasler said.

He said Mr Alexander had indicated they should be able to receive the extra funds.

One of the roundabouts would be built on the intersection of Barber and Warrabungle streets.

Initial testing by the RMS of the creek bed for the diversionfound no indication of a solid rock base, even though they had drilled down 30 metres.

This made the project “a bit trickier” and more of an engineering test, especially as it was a narrow area to squeeze the highway diversion into.

The aim is to put a tender in by mid-2014 which would encompass both the design and construction of the overpass.

The overpass is due to start in 2015 and be finished by early 2016.

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