LOCAL businesses won't be snubbed by calls for a Wagga bypass, according to the city’s chamber of commerce.
The Wagga Business Chamber has backed a state government $100,000 study that will investigate possible heavy vehicle and truck bypass routes in Wagga.
Chamber president James Howell defended concerns businesses wouldn’t suffer from a bypass because people were still likely to visit Wagga for its services.
“Most local businesses are insulated by a lot of other people travelling to Wagga for medical services, like the military base, the university, and retail – they’re going to continue to purchase,” he said.
“It’s really a win in all directions as far as we can see.”
He cited safety and efficiency behind the chamber’s stance because heavy vehicles and trucks would have better access to facilities like the proposed Riverina Intermodal Freight Logistics Hub at Bomen and improve efficiency to businesses along Hammond Avenue.
“Long and short, we are supportive of a bypass,” Mr Howell said. “When trucks go from Adelaide to Queensland, they're switching over so they’re staying in Wagga anyway.”
Committee4Wagga (C4W) called for a bypass in its master transport plan last fortnight, favouring a 33.4km southern route from one kilometre east of the Forest Hill boundary.
While no truck bays are proposed for the route, it will need to overcome environmental and physical constraints like significant tree removal and the Tumbarumba Railway Line.
Other options included a 33km bypass through Bomen to the north of the city before joining the Olympic Highway north of Estella and the other stretching 23km through North Wagga using a duplicated Eunony Bridge.
C4W chief Chris Fitzpatrick stressed the urgency of a Wagga bypass.
“It’s probably needed more than people understand,” he said.
“For us to grow as a city, we need it done sooner rather than later.
“It’s (going to be) very expensive, but that’s what it is.”
Member for Wagga Daryl Maguire said C4W's proposal restarted discussions of a bypass that had been on the agenda for years.
“It’s been talked about for a very long time by individuals, businesses and council," he said. “Now there’s an opportunity to get to do something.” RMS is expected to start the 12-month study this month.
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