The new high-level crossing of the Macquarie River at River Street will deliver improved safety, better access and keep communities connected during flood events, with the Submissions Report and refined design now released.
Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders said there had been a number of changes to the design following community consultation to ensure the project responded to the needs of the local community.
“After carefully considering and responding to every one of the 310 submissions from the community consultation on the New Dubbo Bridge project, we have refined the design,” Mr Saunders said.
“We’ve increased the speed limit, introduced a dedicated northbound slip lane onto Bourke Street and improved pedestrian and cycle safety.”
Mr Saunders said the new bridge would support local emergency services and local businesses during natural disasters.
“The new Dubbo Bridge is primarily about keeping our community connected during a one in 50 year flood event, but would also support everyday motorists by providing a third river crossing to the north of the CBD,” Mr Saunders said.
“In 2010, we saw our local community essentially cut in half, with emergency services unable to quickly and easily get across town, leaving people stranded during the times they needed help the most.”
Dubbo Chamber of Commerce president Matt Wright said the bridge would help avoid situations similar to the 2010 Macquarie River flood, which resulted in millions being ripped out of the Dubbo business community.
“We can’t afford to have that situation arise again. While Macquarie Street businesses were impacted by the floodwaters, people avoided the wider CBD simply because it was too hard to access,” Mr Wright said.
“Having a second crossing close to town at River Street, which will allow people to come back into the business precinct in times of flood and provides better access to the growing North Dubbo area, is something the Chamber supports.”
Dubbo City Toyota dealer principal David Hayes said the New Dubbo Bridge project would support local businesses.
“Our business sits right on the route where the bridge will link to Bourke Street,” Mr Hayes said.
“If I didn’t believe the project was a good one I would fear for the future, but I’m of the opposite belief. We’re actually spending a lot of money on expanding and diversifying our dealership.
“The bridge will also help relieve congestion in Dubbo, which is a growing city, and that is terrific for the city as a whole. Having another high-level bridge and a widened intersection with lights on Bourke Street is a great move and I support it.”
Mr Saunders said the River Street Bridge would do more than solve traffic and business issues.
“From a health perspective, having a high level bridge running into River Street will provide easy access for emergency service vehicles in and out of the hospital precinct,” he said.
“In the medical profession, time is critical. We can’t afford to have ambulances delayed getting to patients, or getting to the hospital, because there is a logjam trying to get from one side of the city to the other.
“This is especially important in times when the low-level Serisier Bridge is closed, when the LH Ford Bridge is the only way to get from West Dubbo to East Dubbo, or vice versa.”
Once a detailed design is determined, the team will call for tenders to build the bridge, with shovels expected to hit the ground in 2022. As the project progresses, Transport for NSW will continue to consult the local community. Local residents and interested parties are encouraged to view the Submissions Report and consultation reports at nswroads.work/dubbo