Pines Estate residents have concernes about the current state of the Sapphire to Woolgoolga Pacific Hwy upgrade, in particular the Hearnes Lake Rd intersection. Photo: Trevor Veale / The Coffs Coast Advocate
Pines Estate residents have concernes about the current state of the Sapphire to Woolgoolga Pacific Hwy upgrade, in particular the Hearnes Lake Rd intersection. Photo: Trevor Veale / The Coffs Coast Advocate Trevor Veale

Highway upgrade intersection a potential death trap

RESIDENTS at the Pines Estate have endured noise, dust and inconvenience from the works on the Sapphire to Woolgoolga Pacific Hwy upgrade for more than two years.

Now they're worried traffic conditions at the Hearnes Lake Rd intersection onto the highway could prove fatal.

Glen Rattle, who has lived in the estate since 2008, said about  70% of the residents in the estate were elderly and were fearful of turning on to the highway because of increased traffic and speeding.

"We have to drive to Woolgoolga or Coffs Harbour, it's too far to walk," Mr Rattle said.

"With the road works the traffic has increased and there are 40-tonne trucks driving in and out all the time.

"Many of them ignore the speed signs and fly through at more than 80kmh, turning out onto the highway to travel north into Woolgoolga is particularly bad."

Another resident, who didn't want to be named, said trucks were failing to give way to motorists.

"I sat for more almost 10 minutes one day and there was no break in the traffic - the trucks don't give way at all, quite the opposite."

Mr Rattle said everyone understands the works are necessary but would like to see more precautions taken to make turning onto the highway safer and less daunting.

"At times there is a traffic controller on site stopping traffic when trucks need to cross the highway - what we'd like to see is something like that regularly.

"We don't want it to take a major accident before something is done."

A Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) spokesman said they monitor the intersection to ensure safety and to maintain traffic flow.

"RMS is considering a number of interim options to increase safety, including installing warning signs and reducing the speed limit to 60km/h while building on the upgrade continues," the spokeswoman said.

"Motorists will also have the option to use the service road to access Woolgoolga rather than the highway once the interchange is opened.

"NSW Police enforce speed limits in and out of worksites."



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