THE NSW government has released its concept design for the link of the Inner City Bypass from Rankin Park to Jesmond, without the on and off ramps at McCaffrey Drive some residents had demanded.
The $280 million design comprises 3.4 kilometres of four-lane divided road between Lookout Road in New Lambton Heights and Newcastle Road in Jesmond.
It also has interchanges north at Newcastle Road, south at Lookout Road and a “half interchange” giving traffic access to John Hunter Hospital from one direction.
The government also released the project’s environmental impact statement.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald said $150 million of the link’s cost would come from the Restart NSW fund.
He encouraged the public to view the design on the project website rms.nsw.gov.au/rp2j and respond through the Planning department’s submissions portal planning.nsw.gov.au/page/on-exhibition.
Wallsend Labor MP Sonia Hornery criticised what she said were government delays in delivering the design.
Ms Hornery said the lack of ramps at McCaffery Drive, justified by Roads and Maritime regional transport manager Anna Zycki as based on traffic modelling, would affect many local motorists.
“I know that local commuters would prefer on and off ramps,” Ms Hornery said.
“It’s good news that things are happening, but I’d be interested to know the timing of when construction will start.”
The Rankin Park to Jesmond link of the Newcastle Inner City bypass is the fifth and final part of the Windale to Sandgate arterial road project.
Construction on the link, which will cut out 11 sets of traffic lights, had been due to start in 2017.
But on Tuesday a Roads and Maritime spokesman said, “timing for construction has not been confirmed as yet”.
Mr MacDonald said the “submissions process plays a vital role in the development of the project and provides an opportunity for community members to have a say”.
“After the display a submissions report will document all issues raised during the formal consultation process, complete with responses.”