A FATALITY has renewed calls for a flyover at the Harrington-Coopernook and Pacific Highway intersections, while speed remains an issue at Houston Mitchell Drive south of Port Macquarie.
A 74-year-old woman died in a car accident on Monday, February 15 at the intersection which has for years been the focus of concern for residents who have pushed for a flyover or overpass.
A preliminary concept design for the grade separated overpass at Harrington was completed as part of the Coopernook bypass project which opened to traffic in 2006.
Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams extended her sympathies to the family and friends of the woman who died in Monday's collision.
"While investigations into (Monday's) tragic motor vehicle accident continue, I can confirm that with the completion of the Pacific Highway duplication, Transport for NSW is investigating long term strategies for integrated transport planning on the corridor," Mrs Williams said.
"This includes potential future upgrades for a number of intersections on the highway, including the intersections with Harrington and Coopernook roads.
"The Pacific Highway forms part of the key connecting transport network in this area and is part of the future growth planning for the region.
"Investigations are being carried out to identify and develop the most appropriate treatment to improve safety at these intersections and priorities will be determined when and if future funding becomes available."
Mrs Williams said identifying and prioritising locations to address safety and efficiency issues are a key part of Transport for NSW's longer term strategy for managing the road network.
This takes into account considerations including the safety record and potential risk of the site, highway traffic volumes, turning movements and projected traffic growth.
"Transport for NSW will continue to monitor safety performance across the road network and prioritise potential upgrades," Mrs Williams said.
"As part of the Taree bypass project completed in 2000, some initial planning was completed to ensure that the bypass was designed in a way to facilitate future highway upgrades when required."
Meanwhile north on the Pacific Highway, there continues to be calls for action at the now notorious Houston Mitchell Drive and Pacific Highway intersection near Bonny Hills.
The intersection has been the scene of multiple car accidents, with the latest occurring on Monday, February 15.
Bonny Hills resident Peter Rodgers has raised his concerns about the intersection and speed limits with Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams since 2018.
Mr Rodgers regularly travels the road and highway and says he has witnessed too many near misses and collisions.
"Sadly there has been no effective action, or by Transport for NSW," Mr Rodgers said in a renewed push last year after a serious accident left several people with injuries.
Mr Rodgers said at many other intersections along the highway, the speed limit is reduced to 100km/h or less and believes the same should be applied at Houston Mitchell Drive.
He said there has been a significant increase in traffic, including school buses, along the Ghost Road as a result of new development in the Lake Cathie and Bonny Hills areas.
Mr Rodgers said it would be a relatively small amount of money to implement signage requiring people to slow down, in comparison to the detrimental cost to the community if lives were to be lost.
He said in lieu of a highway upgrade at the intersection or the construction of an overpass, the speed limit must be reduced now to avoid any further serious accidents.
Mrs Williams has actioned those concerns and Transport for NSW has since conducted a speed zone review at the intersection.
"Transport for NSW has conducted a speed zone review of the Pacific Highway to ensure that the speed is safe in the vicinity of Houston Mitchell Drive. The results of the review are expected shortly," Mrs Williams said.
"Following ongoing discussions with Transport for NSW an investigation to explore other improvements such as warning signage and intersection changes to improve safety at the intersection will continue.
"As always I will continue to liaise with Transport for NSW on road safety issues."
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