River Street Duplication - Stage 1 (Burns Point Ferry Road to Barlows Road)

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To support a growing community and address road congestion, Ballina Shire Council will deliver dual-lane access along River Street between the Pacific Highway, West Ballina and Kerr Street, Ballina. 

River Street carries the largest volume of traffic in and out of Ballina and is at capacity during peak hours. Traffic flow recorded for 2019 was 26,100 vehicles per day and traffic modelling predicts traffic flow in 2036 will be 29,500 vehicles per day. Two-lane arterial roads have the capacity for around 18,000 vehicles per day whereas a four-lane road can cater for 36,000 vehicles per day. 

Once complete, the four-lane road from West Ballina into Ballina Island will double the road’s capacity and comfortably cater for traffic into the future. This project is estimated to cost $27.5 million and is a significant investment to help improve our road network. 

During 2019/20, Ballina Shire Council prepared concept plans and conducted public consultation. Council's crews are now delivering the adopted program of works across four stages. Stage 1 of the project opened to dual traffic lanes in early November 2021. 

Stage 1 of the project has: 

  • duplicated inbound and outbound lanes
  • provided additional pedestrian footpaths and crossings on River Street and adjacent roads
  • provided a raised central median island along the full length of road
  • reconfigured Ronan Place entrance to allow heavy vehicle left in/left out turns
  • upgraded certain stormwater and water services.

The landscaping of the median and approaches included planting of shrubs, groundcovers and mulching. Cabbage tree palms planted in the median strip help to create a sense of arrival and strong visual identity as residents and visitors enter Ballina Shire.  

The project team is currently working with Transport for NSW on a signalised pedestrian crossing on River Street.

Ballina Shire Council thanks the local businesses and wider community for their continued patience as we near completion of this important upgrade.


Project stages

Council will complete this significant road network investment across four stages, subject to availability of funds. Council is now focusing on the project's second stage from Henry Philp Avenue to Tweed Street, Ballina. 

* Preconstruction activities include design, environmental & planning assessment/approvals, geotechnical investigation, consultation and any tendering activities.
This timetable is indicative only and subject to change based on preconstruction activities and available funding. Project costs are outlined as Capital Expenditure in the Delivery Program Operational Plan for 2020-2024.


Frequently Asked Questions

The bridge will be constructed over the two financial years following the completion of Stage One (Riverbend to Barlows Road) and Stage Two (Henry Philp Ave to Tweed Street). Council is undertaking early investigative work. There is a long lead time for pre-construction activities such as community consultation, geotechnical investigations, design, procurement and appropriate environmental and regulatory approvals. As the bridge is two years away it is best to use this time to commence Stage One and Two.

Construction will occur during the day to limit disruption to residents and visitors staying with accommodation providers. Approved construction times are Mon-Fri 7am-6pm, and at times Sat 8am-1pm. These hours may need to be extended if special circumstances require. Availability of contractors may also impact times and the end of daylight saving time will shorten the ability for a late finish.

Every attempt will be made to keep the existing concrete travel lane open. To maintain the travel lane during construction parking will not be available in the works area. Parking may not be available in front of businesses during particular phases, but will be monitored to allow parking whenever possible. The speed limit will be reduced to 40kmph for the safety of construction workers. There will be traffic delays. Council will be communicating to the wider community to allow extra travel time and to plan their journey.

Onsite staff will work directly with businesses and residents to maintain customer and delivery access where possible. Alternative access points will be assessed where needed. Businesses have been urged contact Council before their specific phase of work to discuss alternate access with onsite staff. VMS boards and corflute signage will be employed to provide direction to businesses in each phase. Businesses are also encouraged to register for project updates (see below).

This project will:
  • Widen and improve the existing pedestrian crossing points within Stage One.
  • Provide a new pedestrian crossing point near Burns Point Ferry Road.
  • Alter the landscaping to improve visibility for pedestrians using the refuges and motorists approaching pedestrian refuges.
  • May improve gaps in the traffic flow and allow increased opportunities to cross two oncoming traffic lanes.
  • Fill in missing links to the footpaths where possible to improve the network connections – specifically Burns Point Ferry Road to Quays Drive

Due to the dispersed nature of development north and south of River Street, the desire lines for pedestrians crossing River Street are not concentrated in a single location and as a result a number of pedestrian refuge crossing facilities have been provided along the length of River Street. This geography makes it difficult to identify a location along River Street, West Ballina that will attract sufficient pedestrian numbers to meet the minimum volumes required to satisfy Transport for NSW warrants needed to approve these facilities. Council has engaged a data survey company to collect pedestrian and traffic volume data at the River Street/Quays Drive/Bunnings intersection and at the two pedestrian refuges east of the roundabout near the West Ballina Tavern and the Shell Service Station. This data is being analysed for a possible submission to Transport for NSW. Options being examined include:
  • Replacement of the River Street/Quays Drive/Bunnings roundabout with a fully signalised intersection with pedestrian crossing phases at the intersection.
  • Signalised pedestrian crossing between River Street/Quays Drive/Bunnings roundabout and Riverview Avenue.
This is a long process and requires consultation and subsequent approval from Transport for NSW, along with council funding and endorsement. While these pedestrian lights are not included in the current works, the project does not preclude or make this difficult in the future if the assessment supports installation. As part of the next construction stage of the River Street Duplication, Stage Two, the Brunswick Street intersection will be upgraded to a signalised intersection.

The River Street Duplication will provide River Street with the capacity to cater for current and 2036 predicted traffic volumes into and out of Ballina. Modelling has determined that this traffic capacity is required both before and after the provision of the Western Arterial.

The key reason is that while the Western Arterial will assist with transferring some of the traffic away from Kerr Street and River Street by connecting West Ballina with North Ballina/Cumbulam, a significant proportion of the traffic from River Street will still seek access to other areas including the Ballina town centre, Kerr Street retail areas, East Ballina, Shaws Bay, Skennars Head and Lennox Head. Furthermore, the Western Arterial would terminate at Brampton Avenue, meaning traffic travelling west from this intersection would use River Street. Therefore it is important to address the existing congestion in River Street before constructing the Western Arterial.

Traffic flow for River Street was recorded for 2019 as 26,000 vehicles per day. The current design capacity for River Street is 18,000 vehicles a day, which is why it is congested at peak times. The Western Arterial is a designated future item in Council’s Road Contribution Works Program. Options for timing, cost and funding of the Western Arterial were provided in a detailed report to the Council meeting of November 2019. Go to Agendas & Minutes to read the report.

In future years, the proposed Western Arterial will assist with transferring some of the traffic away from Kerr Street and River Street. Detailed investigations will need to occur before the Western Arterial can be constructed, and private land will need to be acquired. Council is also considering an option to build a link road from Barlows Road to Flathead lane. This option, if feasible, is likely to be constructed before the Western Arterial as it will be less expensive to construct. The latest information regarding this project is contained in a report to the March 2021 Ordinary Meeting.

Resources

More information

Please contact, Brett Howard, Design Engineer, Ph 1300 864 444.

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