Big price tag? ……Big roundabout.
The new proposed roundabout for the Northern Distributor Road (NDR) at the intersection of William Maker Drive carries a hefty price tag of $4.6 million, but it is no small project.
The roundabout has been included in Council’s capital works program for the 2018/19 financial year, but is reliant on successful grant funding applications.
The roundabout proposed for the site will be one of the largest in Orange when complete, comparable to others on the NDR and four times the area of that at the intersection of Woodward and Moulder Streets.
“It has been our plan for sometime to put a major roundabout in there and because it is a major thoroughfare, something like 10,000 vehicles a day plus a lot of heavy traffic, it has to be a large roundabout… double lane, double exit and all that,” chairman of Council’s traffic committee, Cr Russell Turner said.
“As we've upgraded William Maker Drive and with all the new development in that area to the north we are getting complaints that it can take five to seven minutes to come out of William Maker Driver to turn right especially during the peak hours,” said Cr Turner.
“As we've upgraded William Maker Drive and with all the new development in that area to the north we are getting complaints that it can take five to seven minutes to come out of William Maker Driver to turn right especially during the peak hours...”
As well as the construction of the roundabout itself, the project requires the realignment of around 400 metres of Hill Street to join up with intersection opposite William Maker Drive.
Several hundred metres of the bypass road will also be widened and have new heavy duty pavement installed.
In fact, the associated road works account for more than half $4.6 million budget.
“It is mainly the realignment of Hill Street and being a major roundabout it has got to have deeper foundations and all that,” said Cr Turner. “It has got to be built to highway standards to take the heavy loads of the B-Doubles and semi-trailers as they go through the roundabout.”
Other substantial costs include new street lighting, adjustments to existing underground services, the installation of safety barrier, new stormwater drainage, and managing the large volume of traffic through the area during the build.
It certainly seems like a lot of money and one wonders how they came up with the $4.6 million figure. Presumably the project would have been priced either internally by Council engineers or a consultant and probably on the high side at this early stage. If and when the time comes, it will no doubt go out to tender and who knows, could be a few hundred thousand dollars less?