Tarago locals are urging a mining company to build a bypass around their town or to use a rail intermodal to transport their product to port.
Heron Resources has already started transporting ore concentrate from its zinc, copper and lead mine at Woodlawn, near Tarago, on a minor scale.
But the number of trucks carrying the resource to Goulburn's rail hub is expected to ramp up over the coming year. The company has approval to run 12 to 20 trucks daily, 300 days a year during operating hours. last year it announced plans to shift the material from Goulburn by rail to Port Kembla and Port Botany, rather than by truck.
But the local traffic impact remains a controversial point.
Heron commissioned a traffic impact report, which was tendered to the most recent council meeting.
Cr Denzil Sturgiss, a Tarago district resident, said he was disappointed that none of the suggestions proposed to by the community at a June consultation session appeared to have been taken on board.
However, operations director Matt O'Rourke replied that more investigations were yet to take place and a report would be brought back to councillors by the end of the year.
A bypass around the town is just one idea. But its form and who pays is a lingering question. Councillors in June asked that Heron consider one in their final traffic report. The company's consultants looked at three options, which they estimated would range in cost from $3.7 million to $12.4m.
"Based upon the available traffic data and observations, there is not a clearly defined case for the need to create a bypass at Tarago," consultant Ontoit's report stated.
"(It is noted) that the route is an approved B-double route and that the network is operating well within capacity."
Mr O'Rourke told The Post that with quarry companies and Veolia Environmental Services also transporting material by truck from Woodlawn, a bypass wasn't necessarily "trivial." But just who would pay remained the question. He said it was not necessarily Heron's sole responsibility, but an issue under consideration in the Tarago Village Plan.
Nevertheless, a report on the preferred bypass will be presented to councillors by year's end.
Heron will transport product from its Collector Road facility at Woodlawn along Bungendore Road, through Tarago's main street and on Braidwood Road to Goulburn. It also has permission to use Finlay Road and Hume Street.
The final traffic report will also include a concept plan for a roundabout at the Lumley Road/Braidwood Road intersection. However, locals and consultants are unconvinced it's the best solution.
"The current intersection appears to be operating appropriately (and) the construction of a roundabout is not considered necessary from a project perspective," Ontoit's report stated.
Mr O'Rourke said a roundabout also posed technical challenges as it occupied a larger footprint than the current intersection.
"It may not be the most practical answer," he said.
But again, a final report will further explore the option along with the need for a climbing lane on Bungendore Road on the incline from Crisps Creek.
Mr O'Rourke said Veolia had investigated this in 2013 but concluded that it wasn't required based on the frequency, length of climb, limited delay to motorists and the constructability of a suitable lane.
'The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and the Environment now require Veolia to review this, given the increase in waste delivered to Woodlawn by road. Therefore, the council will work with Veolia during this review to satisfy this requirement," he wrote in his report.
Heron's consultants also recommended minor improvements at the Finlay Road/Hume Street intersection in Goulburn, minor road improvements along the route and a driver code of conduct.
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