Fatal hit and run sparks road changes
A SECTION of road where a Nimbin woman was killed last year will be widened and a pedestrian footpath with a vehicle barrier will be built to better protect pedestrians.
In April 2019, Tonia Jansen, 62, was walking along the street with her partner when they were struck by a vehicle at the site and were thrown across the road. Ms Jansen, also known as Kooka, sadly passed away at the scene and her partner was left with ongoing injuries.
Residents have been calling for a pedestrian bridge on the street since the incident.
After community feedback in August last year, the section of road at Cecil St was temporarily converted to a single lane for traffic while the other lane was cordoned off with a concrete divider to provide a protected pedestrian path.
The interim measure will remain in place until work begins on the footbridge.
Lismore City Council applied to Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) for funding for a stand-alone footbridge to be constructed on the northern (Nimbin Headers) side of the road to improve pedestrian safety.
The pedestrian footbridge was to be installed next to the culvert (but not attached to it) in accordance with RMS standards.
A Lismore City Council spokesman said since then, the council has identified further funds to upgrade the stormwater pipe (road culvert) that runs under the road in this location.
"This would need to be done within the next five years regardless of pedestrian safety improvements, so council decided to rethink the original proposal to see if there was a better solution that could incorporate both works," he said.
"Council has now designed a new plan to extend the stormwater pipe and widen the road over the creek, allowing for a pedestrian footpath to be built alongside the roadway on the northern side.
"This would be built to Australian and Transport for NSW standards with a vehicle barrier erected between the road and the new footpath to keep pedestrians safe."
The council will also construct a footpath along the northern side of Cecil Street as part of this project, however, at this stage it is unclear what length the footpath will be and is dependant on budget.
"It will take around eight weeks to build," the spokesman said.
"Council will build as much footpath as possible with remaining funds once the road widening and footpath over the creek are complete."
Council staff met on site with maps to discuss the draft design with local residents at a coffee cart event on Wednesday.
While designs are not finalised, the spokesman said council needs to take into account community feedback received during the community consultation period and then finalise designs.
"Local residents will be notified when a final design is complete and a construction schedule has been set," he said.
Council will next be Nimbin on February 10 to comment on consultation about CSP and the local strategic planning statement.