DESIGNS are being drawn for a long awaited upgrade of Goonoo Goonoo Road near the sports dome.
The state government awarded Tamworth Regional Council $152,000 to create a detailed design and plan to duplicate both lanes of the highway between Calala Lane and Jack Smyth Drive.
While the plan will show the state government the project is “shovel ready”, council staff estimated the actual highway upgrade could cost up to $5 million dollars.
Mayor Col Murray said council found itself in an opportune time to lobby for the cash with state and federal elections in the first half of 2019.
“The final and obvious step is to get the funding for the construction and that’s something we can lobby hard,” Cr Murray said.
The mayor said people had been advocating for a Goonoo Goonoo Road upgrade for up to 30 years and didn’t know if a deal could be sealed before the state election.
“It’s like many projects around Australia, we have a large land mass and a small taxpayer base, so it’s always difficult to get funding,” he said.
“This is a very positive step.”
Tamworth MP and Nationals candidate Kevin Anderson hoped the design work would get the upgrade at the front of the funding queue, but he didn’t say if further government money would be secured before the March election.
“I want to make sure we’re in the department, in the minister’s office as soon as possible,” he said.
“It’s like a lot of projects I’m working on whether it’s Rangari Road, whether it’s Werris Creek Road or Port Stephens Cutting or the duplication of Goonoo Goonoo Road, they are all projects that well and truly are on my radar.”
Initial planning for the stretch of Tamworth highway included the addition of a roundabout on the Craigends Lane.
The intersection has been a bugbear for Tamworth motorists for a number of years and led to council refusing a development application on an adjoining street with concerns about how an increased residential population would impact traffic in the area.