Rail underpass to proceed despite $59 million shortfall
Gosford Council has decided to proceed with its railway underpass project despite a funding shortfall of $59 million.
It unanimously resolved to acquire land to allow construction to start on Stage 2 of the Rawson Rd Railway Level Crossing Replacement Project.
The purchase will allow a rail underpass to be built at the bottom of Bulls Hill, connecting Woy Woy Rd with Nagari Rd, to replace the level crossing at Rawson Rd.
The council was told by its staff that the three-stage project was estimated to cost a total of around $89 million, of which funding of only $30 million had been received from the State Government.
Stage one of the project, which included design work for the project and the pedestrian underpass at Rawson Rd, was estimated to cost $15.9 million.
Stage two, which would provide the road underpass at Bulls Hill, was estimated to cost $36 million.
Stage three, which would realign Woy Woy Rd between Banyo Close in Horsfield Bay and the bottom of Bulls Hill, was estimated to cost $37 million.
There was currently a shortfall of $21.9 million for stage two, which would prevent construction work from proceeding.
Council staff said that the State Government had promised another $15 million if re-elected at next year's election.
This still left a shortfall of $6.9 million on stage two, and no money for stage three.
The council land purchase of parts of five properties was required for stage two.
Two of the properties were privately owned, and the other three were owned by Gosford Council.
The council properties form part of Nagari Rd Bush Reserve, Coastal Open Space System (COSS) land and the Woy Woy Treatment Plant.
Funds received from the purchase of any COSS land for road widening purposes would be returned to fund future COSS land projects.
Stage two included the construction of the Rail Underpass Bridge, Woy Woy Creek Bridge, construction of Nagari Rd and connection through to Woy Woy Rd at the base of Bulls Hill.
Stage one is nearing completion.
It included the detailed design and approvals of the overall project, construction of a pedestrian underpass near Rawson Rd, preliminary works for the rail bridge underpass at the bottom of Bulls Hill as well as all associated works including service adjustments.
According to a report by the council's department of construction and operations, further approaches will be made to the State Government for additional funds to allow stage two work to proceed.
The design of the rail underpass is awaiting approval by Transport NSW for the concept design and construction methodology, with final approval expected by the end of the year.
Gosford Council Agenda CON.7, 26 Aug 2014