New South Wales Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) recently undertook a number of community consultations in Bellingen and Dorrigo as part of a review of a 40km stretch of road between Dorrigo and the Pacific Highway junction on Waterfall Way.
The review is being carried out in response to concerns raised by the community about the recent surge in local quarry truck movements. Issues that the community flagged with the RMS included poor road maintenance, blind corners and lack of signage, lack of pull-over bays, and a speed limit that some considered to be too high.
The evaluation involves the collection of data from 12 sites along Waterfall Way which will be used to identify short- and medium-term road safety strategies as part of a wider review of the scenic route. The RMS has already found that from 2009 to 2013, 81 traffic accidents occurred along that particular stretch of road, resulting in 113 injuries and one death. Five of these crashes involved heavy vehicles, with speeding found to have contributed to one of the truck incidents.
These statistics were presented at the community consultations, along with estimates of truck and dog movements during the upgrade of the Pacific Highway between Nambucca Heads and the Waterfall Way interchange at Raleigh.
Anticipated truck movements
The RMS stated that ?peak movements? between the EMS Quarry at Dorrigo and the upgrade project were expected to occur from October 2014 to July 2015, with 20,000 tonnes of gravel estimated to be transported via 600 loaded trucks per month ? equating to about 60 trips per day. Truck and dog trips were expected to make up 3.8 per cent of all traffic, assuming movements were limited to an average five-day week.
The RMS added that if current quarry development application approvals were taken into account, an additional 80 trips per day would be made from the quarry at Dorrigo and another 40 trips per day would come from the Hernani quarry ? a total of 120 extra trips each day.
When asked if any of the safety strategies being considered would impact upon quarry operations, an RMS spokesperson told Quarry, ?RMS is considering speed limits, road markings and signs, layover zones and truck movements during certain hours along Waterfall Way as part of the safety review. The review team is still considering site appropriate solutions and will make their recommendations in July .?
Source: NSW Roads and Maritime Services