Works delay sheds light on aged-care facility

WORK to build an intersection and traffic lights at the entrance of a new Forest Road aged-care facility, opposite the Orange Health Service, will delay work on a set of traffic lights at the Forest Road/Huntley Road intersection until after July.

In December 2012 the council agreed to contribute $266,750 towards the estimated $1.067 million needed for the Gosling Creek Aged Living facility intersection, with the developers to pay for the remainder.

Work on the Forest Road/Huntley Road traffic lights was initially expected to be finished late last year or in the first half of 2014, but the aged-care intersection has been given priority.

Council spokesman Allan Reeder said the council was expected to sign off on the tender for the project at the February 4 meeting and work would begin soon after. 

“Weather permitting, the intersection, complete with a new set of traffic lights and associated new turning lanes, is expected to be completed by the end of April,” he said.

“Because of the extra traffic that will flow in and out of the new aged-care facility, work on this intersection was brought forward and plans to upgrade the intersection at the corner of Forest Road and Huntley road has been put back into next [financial] year.”

Another ongoing project in the hospital precinct, the reopening of the Huntley Road entrance, has also hit a roadblock.

A Health Infrastrucre (HI) spokeswoman said the access was closed when the health service was built, as it was deemed unsafe and its closure was thought to help control internal traffic more effectively.

The decision was met with community uproar. Now, almost three years later, HI has finalised a review to reopen the road.

“Orange City Council has completed the engineering designs and HI has agreed that the council will execute these works,” the spokeswoman said.

But Mr Reeder said discussions between the council and HI were still ongoing over other traffic issues at the site and ways of managing increased traffic flow in the future.

The most recent meeting was held this week.

“While the design of the new intersection and the funding of the work has been agreed, discussions are continuing over broader traffic issues,” he said.

“If the access from Huntley Road is improved, Orange City Council and HI will also be looking at issues surrounding the broader movement of extra traffic around the Bloomfield site.”

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