RESIDENTS have been advised to avoid the area around Canobolas Rural Technology High School as work continues on a nearby blackspot.
The intersections Icely Road, Winter Street and Wakeford Street was identified as a blackspot and awarded $225,000 from the federal government.
Member for Calare Andrew Gee said funding the work would improve road safety and slow vehicles down, which he believed was important given the proximity to the school.
“This holiday season has shone a light on the importance of road safety and I’m very pleased that the Federal Government is able to assist Orange City Council to improve safety on our roads,” he said.
“This new roundabout will better manage the traffic flow through the area. I think local residents will welcome it.”
Preliminary work started in December and Orange mayor Reg Kidd said major work was being done during the school holidays to minimise the impact on the school and its students.
“We’ve been in talks with the school and nearby residents to ensure there is as little disruption as possible,” Cr Kidd said.
“The plan is to have the majority of the work finished by Australia Day but that is entirely dependent on weather.
“It is an important project and while there will be disruption during construction, the result will be worth the temporary inconvenience.”
Councillor Kevin Duffy raised concerns about buses’ ability to manoeuvre through the intersection late last year, but Cr Kidd said the roundabout had been designed with larger vehicles in mind.
“The ‘mountable’ style of roundabout being constructed, is often described a bit like a pancake and is designed to allow school buses to easily manoeuvre around it,” he said.
“It will make the area a lot more bus friendly and it will finish up looking like the roundabout at the Gardiner Road and Lords Place Street intersection.”
Council infrastructure committee chairman and councillor Sam Romano said the result would be a benefit fro the high number of pedestrians in the area at school times.
“This design will slow vehicles down but allow for a much more smooth flow of traffic with a single lane entry and exit,” he said.
“The single lane makes it easier and safer for pedestrians to cross.
“The roundabout will ease traffic flow on Wakeford Street, making it safer to pass through the intersection, where currently there is a stop sign.”
With the intersection closed for most of the major construction, residents have been advised to avoid the area and Cr Romano thanked residents for their patience.