Transport for NSW has been working with the Snowy Valleys Council, Riverina Policing District and Member for Wagga Wagga Dr Joe McGirr for some time now to develop a solution for the Snowy Mountains Highway, Capper Street and Gocup Road intersection, with plans to be shared with the community soon.
This time last year the Times reported that the state government had earmarked $1.8 million for traffic lights at the intersection.
Discussions are ongoing as to what the best solution going forward is, and whether traffic lights are part of that solution.
Some other proposals aside from traffic lights include completing minor work at the intersection, or creating a new road from Gocup Road to the Tumut saleyards, with roundabouts at each end, bypassing the intersection entirely.
Detective Chief Inspector Stephen Radford said that Traffic for NSW has already presented initial plans for the intersection to council and stakeholders, such as the police, and they were able to provide feedback on the plans.
Insp. Radford isn’t sure how much weight his suggestions will be given, but says that meaningful change must happen.
“Police, ambos, firies, businesses in the area and those affected by accidents [and] near misses [at the intersection] are fully aware that this has been a high risk intersection for over 20 years in our town,” he said.
“The fact that police no longer attend and report on minor accidents means that the ‘hard data’ on the number of collisions occurring there is difficult to determine.
“However, due to the heavy vehicle traffic and set up of the intersection currently, accidents are frequent. Many require the attendance of police, ambulance and the town fire brigade to solve them.
“You don’t have to be a ‘rocket scientist’ to realise that if meaningful changes are not made, a fatality is likely to occur there in time.
“This is certainly not the kind of welcome we want to give or show people entering our beautiful town.”
Insp. Radford said this risk is only due to grow with increased pressure from heavy vehicles and the Snowy Hydro 2.0 project.
He says that a community engagement strategy addressing the intersection is expected from Traffic for NSW “in the near future.”
Transport for NSW has weighed in on the issue and said that the project is scheduled to be completed sometime over the next five months.
“Transport for NSW is working with Snowy Valley Council to finalise plans to improve safety and traffic efficiency at the Snowy Mountains Highway, Capper Street and Gocup Road intersection,” a Transport for NSW spokesperson said.
“Transport for NSW has committed $1.8 million from the Safer Roads fund to this project, which is scheduled to be completed before 30 June, weather permitting.
“The community will be contacted in coming weeks with more information about the project scope and start date.”