New $3.8m roundabout open... for a little while

A $3.8m roundabout on Ewingsdale Road at Byron Bay has taken eight months to open.
A $3.8m roundabout on Ewingsdale Road at Byron Bay has taken eight months to open.

THE new, long-awaited $3.8 million two-lane roundabout at the intersection of Ewingsdale Rd and Sunrise Blvd at Byron Bay is open, but not for long.

Byron Shire Council's director of infrastructure services, Phil Holloway, said on Monday "staff were on-site for the opening and they said there were loud cheers from drivers".

"One lady in a van was so excited she drove around it a couple of times, yahooing, and that put a smile on a lot of faces," he said.


But 40km per hour speed limits will remain in place and the roundabout will be partially closed again next month.

"Whilst the roundabout is open, delays in obtaining approval to move an existing power pole in the middle of the road means the roundabout will need to be partially closed for a short time in November," Mr Holloway said.


This isn't the Northern Rivers only headache-inducing roundabout, with many other contesters in the running.

When The Northern Star asked readers to tell us about the region's other poor roundabouts, they responded.

One reader commented it wasn't the roundabout itself that was the problem.

Scott Randall wrote: "Once again, nothing wrong with the roundabouts and intersections - the impatient, stupid people who misuse them are the issue."

Roundabouts between Alstonville and Lismore with "gardens and large trees on them" were mentioned as problematic due to the visual interference, but another reader said that was the point, to encourage drivers to slow down.

Rodney Holland called out the Pineapple Rd roundabout in Goonellabah as having "the worst exit of any ... in Australia".

And even spots which could need a roundabout were listed.

Leanna Loz Albert wrote: "The one that doesn't exist in Casino at the (McDonald's) and Catholic Church intersection. It's a big open cross way but there's an accident there nearly every day. And the give way signs are always getting knocked out. It needs a roundabout there desperately."

She also mentioned the roundabout at the Cecil Hotel was particularly "terrible" at school times.

The new "crazy" roundabout near Boulders Beach in Skennars Head also made the list of bad roundabouts, as did the one on The Coast Rd in Lennox Head, where "you go from 80km to stop".

Dev Majors called out the one on Dawson St/Ballina Rd in Lismore, and noted its "poor surface".

"Poor road markings, judged by number of cars going straight ahead when arrow indicates right (on) Bruxner Highway/Three Chain Rd. And poor design - 50 per cent have insufficient distance for two exiting lanes to merge," Ms Majors wrote.

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