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Heavy-vehicle bypass back on the agenda

Thursday, 23rd September, 2010

City Council’s indicative heavy vehicle bypass route. City Council’s indicative heavy vehicle bypass route.

Miner Perilya said it would help pay for a proposed heavy vehicle bypass which could go right passed a number of its assets.

City Council is currently considering the feasibility of a bypass around the city which it said would not only remove heavy vehicles from city streets but would solve concerns regarding trucks passing from mine to mine through the city. 

At an extraordinary meeting of Council on Tuesday night, in which the Silverton Committee Trust agreed to allow some of its land to be acquired for the construction of the bypass, a report said the “issue of heavy vehicles passing through the city from mines on the eastern side of the city, should they open, will ... be addressed by the creation of the proposed city bypass”.

In May this year a development application for mining at Perilya’s Potosi mine caused considerable community concern after it was revealed the miner planned to run up to 108 B-double trucks per day from Potosi to its Southern Operations concentrator through the city.

Perilya wanted to truck the ore from its mine, down Argent Street and along the Menindee Road to Holten Drive through to the roundabout at Bonanza Street ratherthan build a bypass or use the rail line as it was cheaper and faster.

General manager Frank Zaknich said yesterday while the bypass idea had been around for some time Potosi was one of the issues which had brought it to a head.

“It’s been on the drawing board for some time but it’s been brought to a head because of various projects ... on the eastern side Potosi, Flying Doctor and the North Mine and to the west the Silverton Windfarm,” Mr Zaknich said.

While Council had no idea yet how much the three to five year project would cost or where the money would come from it did expect those that gained from the project to pay.

“There’s various sources of income and council is certainly expecting contributions from those that might benefit,” Mr Zaknich said. 

“Perilya has already said they’re willing to contribute.” The first stage of the project will be to identify a corridor and then look at the feasibility of the proposed project including at costs, possible income streams and social, economic and environmental impacts.

“We’re looking to justify it in terms of future development,” Mr Zaknich said. While the bypass idea is in its infancy, or pre-feasibility phase, it is expected that the heavy vehicle route would allow trucks and general traffic using all of Broken Hill’s main highways to skirt around the city. 

Council’s indicative route shows the bypass in three sections: joining the Silver City Highway (Broken Hill to Tibooburra road) to the Barrier Highway (Broken Hill to Sydney road) and the Menindee Road via Perilya’s Potosi mine and at the back of the North Mine ending between Holten Drive and the Sydney to Broken Hill Railway Line.

Beginning again on the Menindee Road beyond the railway line crossing, running between the city and the airport to the Wentworth Road near Kanandah Road. Starting again on Ryan Street near the sewage works, connecting with the Barrier Highway before joining Brown Street with access to the Silverton Road. 

Currently trucks use the city’s roads, including along Williams, Iodide and Argent streets and Wentworth Road, Patton and Bonanza streets, as well as Creedon Street and other city roads, to make their way through the city.

There will be more discussions regarding the bypass at Council’s monthly meeting next week.

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