ICELY Road will close for two weeks from Monday as long-awaited work to make the intersection with the north Orange bypass safer finally gets under way.
Orange City Council agreed to spend an extra $150,000 to change the original design of the intersection from a right-left intersection, when driving from the Orange side of the bypass, to a staggered left-right T-intersection following safety concerns from residents back in 2009.
The intersection was earmarked for completion by the end of last year but delays in securing a contractor put the work off.
“Rather than vehicles having to cross at the intersection and ensure both lines of traffic are free they can stop in the sheltered right turn in the middle,” council’s technical services director Chris Devitt said.
Mr Devitt said the impact on bypass traffic would be minimal and signs at the site have advised Icely Road residents of the delays they can expect.
Council is also moving ahead with plans for street lights at the bypass’ Mitchell Highway intersection.
Mr Devitt said the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) had looked at plans for the lights and referred them back to the designer for further clarification of what was needed.
Last June, council agreed to put off $405,000 worth of road and drainage work to fund 30 lights at the intersection but Mr Devitt said the revised plans could result in a cost saving if only 20 lights were needed.
“Once we get it finalised it will go to tender within the next couple of weeks,” he said.
A single light will remain at the Icely Road intersection.
Icely Road between the bypass and Echidna Place is expected to be reopened to traffic on Friday, March 1 subject to weather conditions.
Residents on the west side of Icely Road will be able to access their properties from the city side, while access for residents on the east will be via Ophir Road or the Mitchell Highway.
Mr Devitt said council was putting together a full program of work to repair the bypass surface and redo the faded linemarking, which was likely to start after work on the Icely Road intersection was finished.