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Inner Western Courier Thursday Not Used Anymore : July 16 2008
INNER-WEST WEEKLY, Thursday, July 17, 2008 3 NEWS www.innerwestweekly.com.au Pilgrims are all under one roof in The Dome at Sydney Olympic Park. Picture: BRENT McGILVARY ~PP167246 There's no place like Dome IT is just like one big happy family at Sydney Olympic Park, which is home to more than 10,000 Catholic pilgrims this week. Youths and elders from around the world have been converging onTheDometotakeupamatand mark out their space in the city's biggest accommodation centre for World Youth Day. With more space now available at Olympic Park, organisers have reduced reliance on state schools. World Youth Day pilgrim ser- vices director Geoff Morris said the State Government originally planned to accommodate 30,000 pilgrims at public schools. But only 100 of the 400 public schools that were allocated by the government are needed, he said. A further 23,000 pilgrims are being housed in home-stay accom- modation across Sydney. Locals such as Christine Pellegrino, who is the home-stay co-ordinator for All Hallows par- ish in Five Dock, is accommodat- ing some pilgrims. ''I think it's better than a class- room floor,'' she said. ''They'll be treated like part of the family. We've never met them, but they'll be like family to us.'' RTA says bridge is solution KIM SHAW state parliament CHANGING LANES ON IRON COVE NEW OPTION: A three-lane bridge with a dedicated city-bound bus lane for the morning peak NEW COST: $156 million, not $150 million for a four-lane bridge NEW CLAIM: A new bridge will reduce bus times by 18 minutes, not by up to eight minutes NEW PROMISE: Less over- shadowing at Drummoyne pool, no property acquisitions BUILDING a new-three lane bridge to the west of Iron Cove Bridge would cost less than ''clip- ping on'' additional lanes and would reduce bus times by 18 minutes, the RTA has claimed. RTA chief Les Wielinga told the Inner-West Weekly the primary objective of the project was to improve public transport times while not interfering with general traffic flow. He said after examining all the options in-depth, the RTA's ''pre- ferred option'' was a new three- lane bridge with a dedicated city- bound bus lane for the morning peak. The planned out-bound peak bus lane was scrapped because the evening peak was more spread out and it was more important to get empty buses back into the CBD quickly to improve evening time- table reliability, Mr Wielinga said. Some 1280 submissions were made to the RTA over the four- lane project. Many locals were against a new bridge and many wanted public transport to be the priority. Mr Wielinga said the preferred option addressed the main issues raised in community consultation such as overshadowing the pool, moving the utilities underground and property acquisition. A three-lane design did not require property acquisition or moving cables and it would over- shadow the pool less than a four- lane bridge, Mr Wielinga said. Despite recent criticism that up- to-date traffic modelling did not exist, Mr Wielinga said ''ongoing'' traffic modelling conducted over the past 12 months had shown that the three-lane option would im- prove bus times by 18 minutes in the morning. Tidal flow systems would also be introduced. The RTA's major infrastructure director Brian Watters said the project would not provide extra capacity for cars on the Victoria Rd corridor but would simply provide extra capacity for buses on the 3.5km Iron Cove stretch. Cost estimates of $156 million were not fixed, but were subject to ''refinement'' as the project prog- ressed, Mr Watters said. An environmental assessment would be prepared for the project and put out for public comment later this year. Construction was due to start early next year with completion expected in late 2010, he said. Drummoyne State Labor MP Angela D'Amore said the project would be ''a major improvement'' for cyclists of the Inner West with its 3.5m-wide shared pedestrian- cycle path and access ramps. She said an option to build an underpass on Darling St was clearly not feasible as an RTA investigation had shown it would require massive property acqui- sition. 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