RESIDENTS have raised concerns that a new plan for traffic lights at opposite ends of the busy Gobbagombalin Bridge will create an even more dangerous road.
Regional Transport and Roads Minister Paul Toole said traffic lights will be part of the $20 million upgrade to the Old Narrandera Road and Travers Street intersections of the Olympic Highway, which were "the safest and most efficient options".
As part of the project, the Travers Street roundabout will be removed and the intersection moved to the south while the merge lane on the Olympic Highway and Old Narrandera intersection will also be removed.
However, professional driver Peter Rex said he feared this option could create another blackspot for the notorious road network of the northern suburbs.
Mr Rex said it is no secret that traffic lights slow down motorists, but a set at opposite ends of the bridge will bring cars to a halt on a busy highway.
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"Any banked up traffic on a highway creates problems," he said.
Builder Wayne Carter, who crosses the bridge almost four times a day, said the plan is "extreme" given that there are no problems at the Travers Street roundabout. He said the real issue was in the bridge itself.
"As soon as you get on the bridge that is where the bottlenecks start because there are only two lanes over the bridge and it backs up," he said. "The roundabout does what it intends, slow down so you enter at a leisurely pace."
However, he said traffic lights could work at the Old Narrandera Road intersection, which currently relies too much on drivers making the right judgement on when to merge safely.
"If your judgement isn't spot on, then there's a chance you are going to collect the person coming across the traffic," he said.
Charles Sturt University professor Jim Pratley said the plans for the Old Narrandera Road intersection is "no-brainer" given the high risk for accidents at the site, but was undecided on whether the second set of traffic lights are necessary for the opposite end.
"It's an awful intersection. I avoid it on the way home. No one knows if it's a merge with the traffic or stop and wait," he said.
Wagga MLC Wes Fang said the introduction of traffic lights will reduce the number and severity of crashes while providing the added benefit of reducing maintenance costs, with the design allowing more lanes in the future.
While congestion is an issue being addressed, Mr Fang said the primary objective is providing the safest outcome for road users.
The community has been encouraged to view the preferred options on the RMS website.