Bonny Hills Progress Association prepare data for overpass at Houston Mitchell Drive intersection

SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS: Construction underway at Houston Mitchell Drive.
SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS: Construction underway at Houston Mitchell Drive.

Members of the Bonny Hills Progress Association are preparing their case for an overpass at the Pacific Highway and Houston Mitchell Drive intersection.

Work on safety improvements started at the intersection in early September and detours are expected to be in place from September 20 until mid-December.

Right hand turns into and out of Houston Mitchell Drive will be restricted while a left turn deceleration lane into Houston Mitchell Drive is installed for southbound motorists and an acceleration lane onto the Pacific Highway for southbound motorists.

The site has witnessed numerous near-misses, traffic accidents and a fatality involving a motorcyclist on March 3.

Progress Association vice president Kathy Regan said the group welcomes the works but is continuing the push for an overpass and immediate feasibility investigations for it.

"We are really happy to see what's happening out there and we think it will make a difference with the slipways. We are glad that action is being taken," Mrs Regan said.

"Our concern is still with the traffic that has to cross the highway entering and exiting the highway in the long term.

"We are putting a case together with gathered data for an overpass, and we will be approaching state politicians to talk to them. We know it will cost a lot and take time but the investigation for that needs to start now."

The road shoulders in and out of Houston Mitchell Drive are also currently being widened, new safety barriers installed and line marking done.

Mrs Regan said the issues at Houston Mitchell Drive will only increase with strong population growth in the area.

"We're looking at the population growth in the area and you can see by the development that it is increasing dramatically," she said.

"Houston Mitchell Drive is the direction people use to get into Port Macquarie and remains a strong option for people using it to get to work in Kempsey.

"If we wait until the population increases we will have traffic being banked up, people waiting their turn to cross two lanes of highway traffic. That is not a good situation for any highway and there are safety issues there.

"We are appreciative of what is being done at the moment but we're saying we want investigations into an overpass to start as soon as possible."