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Most trucks won’t use haul road: Consultant

Thursday, 19th April, 2012

By Erica Visser

A proposed $8 million haulage road would not be used by most of the trucks travelling through Broken Hill, according to the consultant responsible for the plan.

The detour road would instead be used mainly by Perilya trucks travelling between the company’s southern operations and Potosi mine.

Perilya has agreed to contribute $2 million towards the cost of the road including labour and materials.

City Council would pay $1 million and it is now lobbying the state and federal governments for the remaining $5 million. 

Council would also be responsible for almost $75,000 per year in maintenance costs.

More than $55,000 of that would be set aside for the road’s 10-year resealing while the remainder would go towards general maintenance.

A full report on the cost, impact and objectives of the road was released last week by consultants R.W Corkery & Co.

The company’s Senior Environmental Consultant, Alex Irwin, said that the haulage road would not alleviate much of the heavy traffic on the city’s roads.

He said he doubted that heavy vehicles travelling through the city on Williams and Argent streets would use it because it would take longer.

Mr Irwin said that according to 2011 statistics, 48 public vehicles were expected to use the road every day.

“It’s limited in terms of the volumes of traffic that would currently use it,” he said.

“However, trucks travelling along the Silver City Highway may choose to use it because it’s proven to be two to three minutes quicker.”

These trucks would mainly be those travelling from Mildura to Sydney.

Mr Irwin said that the extension of the road to the Barrier Highway or even a complete ring-road around the city would be unlikely in the near future.

“I wouldn’t say it’s on the cards but in 10 years it might happen,” he said.

“But what this does do is make it seem far more logical for the government to supply the funding to extend it.”

Mr Irwin said that the problems involved in extending the road to meet the Barrier Highway included reclaiming land and passing over the train lines.

He said that the main benefits for the city were that it ensured Potosi ore trucks would not use residential streets and that it “provided stimulus” for future projects that might require use of the road.

He also said that if council owned the road the potential would remain for a bypass to be built.

If council fails to win government funding for the road, Perilya has said it will build a private haul road.

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