Works to improve traffic flow at a busy intersection in Newcastle West are set to start this weekend in a bid to improve journeys through the CBD.
The NSW Government is investing $1.4 million to improving the Stewart Avenue and King Street intersection.
“The project involves building a left turn slip-lane from Stewart Avenue onto King Street and installing a pedestrian crossing across the new slip lane,” Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Catherine Cusack said.
“This is one of a number of intersection upgrades to improve traffic flow in the city centre following the introduction of the Newcastle Light Rail and will ensure the intersection continues to operate effectively into the future.”
Construction will start on Sunday 19 July and will be carried out between 7pm and 5am from Sunday to Thursday for eight weeks, weather permitting.
Some of the work will also be carried out between 7am and 5pm on weekdays.
There will be some traffic and pedestrian changes while work is carried out, including a reduced speed limit, temporary lane closures and the closure of the signalised pedestrian crossings to Birdwood Park.
“A number of options were investigated to select a design offering the required traffic efficiency benefits while minimising the impact to Birdwood Park,” Ms Cusack said.
The upgrade will involve the removal of two large fig trees near the corner of the intersection and two smaller trees.
City of Newcastle planted a second row of fig trees in Birdwood Park some years ago in preparation for future road widening and five replacement trees will also be planted along Stewart Avenue as part of the project.
However, Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes and Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen still oppose the decision to remove these trees.
The pair claim that Transport for NSW engaged in little or no community consultation about the decision.
Cr Nelmes has written to Minster for Transport Andrew Constance asking that the project be stopped immediately and has also launched an online petition to gather community support.
For more information, please visit the Transport for NSW website.