18 May 2021
Dear Beagle Editor,
The comments by the Mayor that bushfire recovery money was being spent on town planning and infrastructure (Media Release 18th Feb 2021) leads one to question if those funds will also directly or indirectly be used to advance major infrastructure works in the Eurobodalla. The relevant document here is the 2017 Eurobodalla Shire Council Submission to the Future Transport Strategy.
A key element of this strategy focusses on extending the 26M HML B-double access to the Eurobodalla. The opening of the new bridge over the Clyde River has opened up access to Batemans Bay to these vehicles and with the completion of the “Spine Road” the 26M B doubles should be able to access future industrial areas in Surf Beach. With the additional roadworks such as straightening the road at Lilli Pilli and at near the airport, 26M B-doubles should be able to service industrial areas at the airport and continue onto to the to be constructed bridge over the Moruya River a bypass Moruya.
If you live in the area and travel between Mogo and Batemans Bay it is not too difficult to work out that 26M B-doubles will not be coming down the mad mile, then running though the town of Mogo, much less turning left at Tomakin Road or going over the old wooden bridge over Mogo Creek.
Any analysis of the design of the “Spine Road” connection to the Princes Highway indicates that traffic on the “Mad Mile” will build up in peak periods which will lead to a serious fatality from an unsuspecting motorist coming over the hill past the Botanical Gardens too fast only to find two lanes of cars stopped immediately over the crest of the hill. Imagine the carnage if that was a 26M B-double.
One solution would be to upgrade Runnyford Road to allow traffic from the Kings Highway to bypass Batemans Bay and run the 26M B doubles through Runnyford, bypass Mogo and continue down the Princes highway to the Moruya bypass at Shelley Road.
I understand Council has applied for funding for the roundabout (Plan 3864) on Tomakin Road at the entrance to the Mogo carpark. I have serious doubts the roundabout will ever be built in this location. The roundabout is too close to the Tomakin Road intersection with the Princes Highway and queuing traffic will block up the roundabout. This outcome is virtually assured with the Council’s recent decision to turn Annetts Street into one way removing any alternate access into Mogo from Broulee.
However, the dimensions of the roundabout from the Plan 3864 which provides for 26M D Double through traffic would suit a roundabout for a Mogo bypass which a likely outcome when it is most likely cheaper to build a new bridge over Mogo Creek than widen and upgrade the existing wooden bridge. Extending Tomakin Road across to a bypass would also alleviate traffic problems at the intersection of Tomakin Road and the Princes Highway.
Above: The draft design of the proposed roundabout at Charles Street provided to The Beagle via an unnamed source
I understand funds for bushfire relief (which are not insubstantial) have been made available to the Eurobodalla Shire Council through Resilience. If these funds are being used to fund part of the extensive roadworks happening in the Eurobodalla at the moment one is entitled to asked how would bushfire funds be separated from any funding for infrastructure for upgrading the infrastructure for Transport ? Federal infrastructure are only paid after the works are finished.
As a bus operator I have been frustrated because Council has been delaying the issuing of a Construction Certificate for a bus depot at Mogo. I accept there is opposition from certain members of the Mogo Business Chamber. However, public transport is extremely important particularly in rural areas.
After the bushfires Transport for NSW stepped in and funded special Bushfire Recovery Services for Mogo and Nelligen operating for 7 days a week. At our own cost we extended our existing 870, 861 and 857 route services for Batemans Bay , Broulee and Moruya to 7 days a week and incorporated them into the Mogo and Nelligen services. We were able to demonstrate that a 7 day a week transport network could be established for the whole of Batemans Bay, Mogo and Nelligen for not much additional cost.
I have come to the conclusion that Mogo is too important to allow its infrastructure, services and development to be left to the Eurobodalla Shire Council. It is time the State Government recognised Mogo as an essential part of the economy of the Eurobodalla and stepped in.
Priors Bus Service