The final piece of a $35 million roadworks project around Bomen has been opened.
Merino Road is now open to traffic after a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday afternoon.
The so-called Bomen enabling roads project has been under construction since November 2016, and is expected to carry up to 3274 light vehicles and 676 heavy vehicles an hour during peak times.
Since roadworks began, 365 people have given it 110,000 work hours.
More than half-a-million tonnes of dirt was moved to make way for the new roads with a total of 65,000 tonnes of gravel laid for the road surfaces.
The project has included the construction of 7.1 kilometres of new roads, a new intersection on the Olympic Highway, two roundabouts, purpose-built entry to the Livestock Marketing Centre and rail underpass which closed the Dampier Street level crossing.
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Wagga City Council general manager James Bolton said the Bomen enabling roads project had a number of significant advantages.
“There’s improved safety for all motorists and better access for Higher Mass Limit (HML) vehicles, both into the Bomen Business Park and connections to the Olympic and Sturt highways,” he said.
“Completion of the Bomen enabling roads project also supports the potential development of the Riverina Intermodal Freight and Logistics (RIFL) hub.”
The RIFL hub, combined with the Bomen enabling roads project, will help facilitate effective and efficient movement of freight to and from Sydney, Melbourne and other major destinations, Mr Bolton said.
“The new infrastructure supports existing Bomen-based industries, while paving the way for new industry investment in our city, helping to further strengthening our local economy,” Wagga Mayor Greg Conkey said.
Member for Riverina, Michael McCormack, described the completion of roads as the “vital first step” in the development of the RIFL hub, which would be “an important cog” in plans by the current government for an inland rail line running between Melbourne and Brisbane and passing through his electorate.
Wagga City Council has been involved in lengthy talks with US railroad company Genesee and Wyoming Australia (GWA) about the rail phase of the RIFL hub.