The iconic monument on the corner of Dowling and Hooke Streets in Dungog is set to be the centrepiece of a new roundabout to be installed later this year.
Dungog Shire Council has received a Federal Government grant of $571,445 to upgrade the intersection.
Due to the heritage significance of the monument, the new roundabout will be built around it rather than it being moved.
The council’s head of engineering, Steve Hitchens, said the monument effectively creates a situation whereby motorists are required to undertake an illegal turning movement.
“The monument creates a virtual roundabout situation with a number of near misses being reported,” he said.
Earlier this year the council approved works (as part of the Traffic and
Road Safety Committee Meeting Minutes) which would pave the way for a future roundabout.
Council’s Traffic and Road safety committee, which includes Roads and Maritime and Police representatives, staff undertook further investigation of intersection prompting the roundabout proposal.
The monument is located off centre to the road and adjoining buildings.
Council has undertaken excavation works adjacent to the monument and, together with heritage advice, has found that any movement of the monument would be problematic and would likely damage the structure.
The plans have been modified to relocate the roundabout with the monument forming the centre.
The council has uncovered old photos of the monument from the 1960s and investigations are being made into whether similar lighting can be found for the monument as was previously used.
Mr Hitchens said further community consultation is planned before any work progresses.
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