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Sunday, July 25, 2021

Inner City Bypass construction prompts residents’ concerns

Numerous concerns from residents about the latest work on the Newcastle Inner City Bypass forced McGrath Estate Agents to compile an impact report to allay some of those fears.

The demolition of several homes on Lookout Road, in New Lambton Heights, not only kick-started the next phase of the project but prompted curiosity and worries regarding the effect the $450 million development would have on locals.

This spurred McGrath Estate Agents New Lambton to put together a comprehensive overview of the major undertaking, as well as address any trepidation on the bearing to residences and property values.

“We created it due to a combination of reasons,” one of the authors of the report, Michael Edwards, said.

“We’d had a few questions from residents, while the recent flattening of houses in the area was the first visual clue of the actual work.

“We felt it was our role, in the industry, to update and educate them – and present something that would be of value to many people.

“There was lots of information in the original report, about 170 pages, so we tried to simplify it so others could understand it better.”

McGrath Real Estate New Lambton’s Michael Edwards. Photo: Peter Stoop

Construction of the Newcastle Inner City Bypass started in the 1980s with the urban transport project continuing in phases.

The final section, between Rankin Park and Jesmond, is scheduled to be delivered in 2025.

The fifth segment is the last piece of the puzzle that will see improved traffic flow across the western suburbs of Newcastle along with improved connectivity to precincts including John Hunter Hospital, the University of Newcastle, Bennetts Green, Charlestown and Jesmond shopping centres.

“The bypass features three interchanges – one at Lookout Road, another at Newcastle Road (Jesmond) and the other at John Hunter Hospital,” Mr Edwards said.

“[The construction of them] will have some short-term impacts on traffic in and along Lookout Road, Newcastle Road and McCaffery Drive.

“But, afterwards, they’ll reduce the problem on each of these arterial roads in Lambton and New Lambton Heights as well as surrounding areas.

“So, overall, it’s a huge positive.

“The bypass itself will be 3.4km with the majority of it travelling through bushland west of the John Hunter Hospital.”

Mr Edwards said the impact of witnessing houses cleared along Lookout Road caused a bit of alarm throughout neighbourhoods such as Rankin Park, Elermore Vale and Wallsend, too.

“Many people in the surrounding suburbs enquired as to how their properties may be impacted and wanted clarity on the project including timelines and where construction will be occurring,” he told the Newcastle Weekly.

“In fact, the location of, and operation of, the interchanges prompted a large number of questions.

“Given the volume [of inquiries] we’d already received from residents in New Lambton Heights, Lambton, Rankin Park, Elermore Vale, Wallsend and Jesmond, we felt coordinating this report would provide some clarity [on the project] and guidance on the potential impacts to home values over the course of the construction and completion of the bypass.”

If you’re seeking an answer or two, the McGrath Estate Agents’ impact report is available at www.innercitybypass.gr8.com

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