It’s officially called B53, or Main Road 217 in some circles, but it’s known to us locals as the main road which runs from the M1 interchange at Morisset, through Dora Creek and Toronto and onto Speers Point, Argenton and Glendale.
There have been some significant improvements to this vital road link in recent years but there is still a long way to go. Most recently, I was successful in getting the funding needed to widen the section along Cary Street at Toronto. Prior to that was the upgrade to the intersection of Dorrington and Wangi roads at Rathmines, and the massive and very costly upgrade to the Five Islands Bridge section between Booragul and Speers Point.
I remain absolutely committed to seeing this entire road widened and upgraded and continue to press the government to establish a plan for its ongoing improvement. The goal is to have a dual carriageway running from Morisset through to Glendale.
The Cary Street project was finished in late 2016 and has significantly eased the peak-hour bottlenecks. The $5.5m project has provided a much better and safer stretch of road for motorists and pedestrians, but more needs to be done to adjoining sections of road and I’ll be continuing to campaign for those.
I believe that the next priority on that main road should be the widening of the single-lane stretch between the Glendale shops, Argenton and the new roundabout at Boolaroo. The stretch through Morisset must also be a priority, but this presents some challenges which must be acted on soon as the population of this area continues to rise.
Of course, the main road through the electorate isn’t the only road issue I’m focused on. The viaduct on Fassifern Road near the railway station is another problem which needs to be given priority. Although the road is two-way, the narrow viaduct can only accommodate one car at a time, interrupting traffic flow on this busy stretch which is one of the main access roads in and out of Toronto.
In a submission to Lake Macquarie City Council I made a proposal which I believe would solve the traffic flow issues while still protecting the heritage-listed viaduct. Splitting the road and creating a second tunnel through the ridge for northbound traffic would be a cost-effective way of addressing all issues. At this stage the council has declined to pursue this option but I still believe it’s the best way to solve the problem.
Another project I’ve been actively pursuing is the extension of Munibung Road. One of the real keys to opening up the strategic gateway and employment hub at Boolaroo is extending Munibung Road from Cardiff industrial estate to the new roundabout near Bunnings at Boolaroo. In July 2017, we successfully secured a Federal Government grant which will allow Lake council to begin construction, hopefully in late 2017. Previously, the State Government had rejected a funding application through the Resources for Regions program, so the Federal Government's funding was great news.
When completed, the link will significantly reduce travel times between the Cardiff industrial estate and Speers Point, and take pressure off The Esplanade at Speers Point and Lake Road at Argenton.