Residents are being urged to have their say on the proposed $500million new Richmond Bridge and by-pass project at a Face-to-Face community information session being held on Saturday (June 19) from 10am to noon at North Richmond Community Centre.
The Federal and State governments have now committed a total of $500million to a new Richmond bridge and bypass across the Hawkesbury River, which is expected to cut travel time by 12 minutes and create about 850 jobs.
The money _ $400million from the Federal Government and $100million from the State Government – is double the original commitment.
The new 11km route will bypass both Richmond and North Richmond Townships and alleviate a longterm traffic bottleneck between Richmond and North Richmond which currently cope with over 31,000 vehicles a day. The alignment will include upgrades to six intersections.
The new two-lane bridge will be built 500m downstream from the Richmond Bridge and will be 6m higher. It is expected that 21 homes or businesses will be acquired.
The funding announcement of an extra $250million was made at North Richmond last week by Prime Minister Scott Morrison who was joined by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Roads and Transport Minister Andrew Constance, Urban Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher and NSW Senator Marise Payne.
Mr Constance said he would be talking personally to people affected by the property acquisitions. He said by creating a third crossing they would be “returning the villages to the villagers”.
Transport for NSW prepared a study on Richmond Bridge in 2103 identifying the need for additional bridge capacity and intersection upgrades to improve journey times and provide for future growth.
Mr Fletcher said after “extensive consultation” a much more extensive solution was decided which included bypassing the two townships.
The community is invited to give their feedback on the preferred option, including any potential improvements that could be considered for the town centres of Richmond and North Richmond and any potential environmental impacts.
Face-to-face community information sessions will be held this Wednesday, June 16, from 5 pm to 7 pm and on Saturday, June 19 from 10 am to 12 pm at the North Richmond Community Centre.
State Member for Hawkesbury Robyn Preston said: “We want the local community and road users to have their say on the preferred option for a new Richmond Bridge and associated traffic upgrades, which are designed to keep vehicles moving in what has been a heavily congested area of the road network.
“The new bridge will provide a new connection for road users between Bells Line of Road and the main road network and the existing Richmond Bridge will remain in its current form, continuing to provide a link between Richmond and North Richmond.
“The preferred option includes upgrading six intersections and two existing roads, as well as a provision for active transport that will encourage bike use and exercise.”
“The existing Richmond Bridge and road approaches are operating at capacity during morning and afternoon peak periods, resulting in congestion and increased travel times,” Ms Preston said.
“Consultation with the community and stakeholders identified a preference for a bypass of Richmond and North Richmond town centres to provide a long-term solution to traffic congestion and a platform for their potential revitalisation.
“The new Richmond Bridge will alleviate some of this congestion and will reduce traffic in both town centres, helping to protect Richmond’s heritage and providing opportunities to improve amenity in both town centres.”