Wagga traffic engineers have opened up about the reason traffic lights at opposite ends of the busy Gobbagombalin Bridge is the best solution for the problematic intersections of the Olympic Highway.
It comes four months after Transport for NSW announced traffic lights as the preferred option to improve safety and traffic flow, but triggered immediate concerns by residents that the new plan will create an even more dangerous road.
Community feedback sought prior to a decision being made floated ideas such as a roundabout at the Old Narrandera Road intersection, an overpass or underpass.
But senior project manager for the Olympic Highway upgrades Sam Millie said, in a video, that engineers explored four roundabout options thoroughly, but traffic lights were considered more effective.
"We ... found traffic lights were preferred because they allowed safe turning out of Old Narrandera Road and can be coordinated at different times of the day to ensure good traffic flow," he said.
"Traffic lights were also considered safer and future-proof because extra lanes could be added as needed in years to come as Wagga continues to grow."
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The series of videos continued to explain that the traffic lights near the Travers Street intersection was the best option to improve short-term safety while the agency investigated longer term solutions.
"Not only will traffic lights better control vehicle movements, remove risky decision-making and link in with planned traffic lights on Old Narrandera Road, they'll also give the intersection more room for any future changes to the bridge," the video stated.
"Lights will also improve traffic flow from central Wagga to the growing northern suburbs and would prevent the current roundabout from reaching predicted capacity within a few years."
Traffic engineers also found the suggested grade-separated interchange was not the best option for Old Narrandera Road after investigating an over-or-underpass.
"Building an underpass on a floodplain is not a good option and we found it would cause a lot of traffic closure and delays while being built," the video said. "We also found there's not enough room for an overpass."