Safety concerns surrounding the Dunns Road upgrades have pushed Wagga Wagga City Council (WWCC) to close one end of the road to all traffic.
The section of Dunns Road between Kunzea Place and the Olympic Highway was originally closed to all traffic excluding local residents, due to construction work which began in June.
Despite clear signage, motorists have continually ignored the warnings.
Council Directory Strategy and Projects Phil McMurray says a hard closure has now been put in place at the western end as a direct response to motorists blatantly disregarding road closure signs and driving through the roadworks.
“The construction site has evolved into a high-risk zone due to the presence of heavy machinery and large trucks operating within close proximity,” Mr McMurray said.
“This kind of self-entitled behaviour by these motorists jeopardises not only their own safety but that of the construction crew.”
Mr McMurray is urging motorists to obey road closures, which are in place for a reason.
“Aside from putting lives at risk, people should know that ignoring road closure signs is a serious traffic offence,” he said.
“Motorists who disregard road closure signs face potential traffic infringement penalties.
“It may also impact a vehicle’s insurance claim.”
Contractor Excell Gray Bruni Area Manager Justin Porganyi said he had noticed a number of motorists ignoring road closures and “recklessly speeding” along Dunns Road since construction began.
“This is clearly dangerous behaviour with heavy machinery and workers on the road,” Mr Porganyi said.
“While road closures might be inconvenient, they are essential safety measures to protect the lives of both our dedicated construction workers and the public,” Mr Porganyi said.
“Remember, every member of our team is someone’s parent, sibling, spouse, or child – their safety matters, and we all have a role to play in ensuring they return home safely each day.”
Despite the heavy rainfall on Tuesday evening (22 August), WWCC is adamant the roadworks are progressing and are on target.
“With around 400 B-double truckloads of road base delivered and applied across the three-kilometre section of unsealed road, the process of sealing will soon start,” Mr McMurray said.
WWCC is looking to finalise plans for the next stage of the project which will create a new Dunns Road and Olympic Highway intersection.
The $8.3 million project is being split between the Federal Government ($5.8 million) and Wagga Wagga City Council ($2.5 million).