Wagga City Council calls for public opinion on the future of the embattled Dunns Road

After months of debate, council is asking the public for opinions about the future of Dunns Road.

During the 2016 federal election campaign, Riverina MP Michael McCormack promised $2.5 million towards upgrading the road, with the understanding that Waggga City Council would match the funding. But council staff later reported the initial upgrade estimates were wrong and it would cost $7.7 million to rebuild the road, prompting a recommendation to close the road completely.

Councillors rejected the proposal to close the road, calling for independent consultants to give a cost estimate. Residents of Dunns Road then redoubled their campaign to have it closed, while residents of southern villages demanded it remain open.

Fewer than 10 per cent of DA readers polled wanted the road closed, with close to 82 per cent voting for an upgrade.

Peter Ross, council’s technical and strategy manager, said the consultants would be in Wagga later this month to gather community feedback, to be compiled with technical information and costings before being presented to councillors.

“The independent consultants are undertaking an in-depth study, reviewing the existing design for Dunns Road and determining the scope of works that would be required to upgrade it,” Mr Ross said.

“They will also be taking into account the traffic flow-on effects if Dunns Road was upgraded and they are looking forward to hearing the thoughts of nearby residents and the wider community so they can provide a complete picture of the project to council.”

Residents were invited to share their thoughts on the long-term future of Dunns Road online at www.waggaview.com.au​ or at a community meeting to be held at the council chambers on Tuesday, May 22 from 12.30pm.

Both sides of the closure debate will also present their views during meetings on Monday, May 21.

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