Right-hand turning lane needed to manage school traffic, Murray Bridge councillor says

A turning lane is needed at the corner of McHenry Street and Adelaide Road, Murray Bridge, Councillor Andrew Baltensperger says. Photo: Peri Strathearn.
A turning lane is needed at the corner of McHenry Street and Adelaide Road, Murray Bridge, Councillor Andrew Baltensperger says. Photo: Peri Strathearn.

Traffic congestion on Murray Bridge's busiest road has again flared as an issue at the city's council.

Councillor Andrew Baltensperger argues that a right-hand turning lane from McHenry Street into Adelaide Road is needed to reduce congestion and improve safety.

Council staff will complete a feasibility study on the idea after Cr Baltensperger made his case at a meeting on Monday night.

The intersection, with a gym on one side and liquor store on the other, carried a lot of traffic to and from nearby St Joseph's School, he said.

"Particularly at school times, I find this intersection to be congested and risky to turn right on," he said.

According to the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure, there were four accidents at or near the intersection between 2013 and 2017: a rollover, a T-bone, a rear-end and a collision with a parked vehicle.

Departmental figures also showed the section of Adelaide Road between the two sets of traffic lights, at Maurice and Swanport Roads, was the busiest in Murray Bridge.

An average of 13,400 vehicle movements were recorded along it each day in 2018.

Cr Airlie Keen suggested council staff talk to residents of McHenry Street affected by school traffic when they studied the issue.

Traffic engineers of the kind the council planned to engage were relatively expensive, she said, and locals possessed some of the information the council would need as it decided whether to go ahead with the idea.

Cr John DeMichele, a member of the St Joseph's School board, recommended that the council contact the school as well.

The feasibility study will also consider how the flow of traffic through the intersection would be affected if Verdun Road were extended through a vacant block to connect with Adelaide Road near the McDonald's restaurant.

The Standard understands the council has spent the past nine years considering the idea, but all discussions on the matter have been held behind closed doors to protect the commercial interests of parties involved.

Council chief executive officer Michael Sedgman said councillors had given a proposal their in-principle support, "subject to commercial-in-confidence negotiations with external stakeholders".

"It has been a long while coming," he acknowledged.

Road safety has become one of Cr Baltensperger's pet issues during his five years on the council.

He previously campaigned for right-hand turning lanes to be installed along Adelaide Road west of Maurice Road, particularly at the IGA supermarket; and for a safer pedestrian crossing on South Terrace, near Murray Bridge Marketplace.

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