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Orange’s newest roundabout near Canobolas Rural Technology High School has been completed and is open for traffic.

The roundabout was fully funded by the Federal Government with $225,000 allocated to the project under the Federal Government’s Black Spot Programme.

The roundabout was constructed by Orange City Council at the Wakeford Street, Winter Street and Icely Road intersection.

Federal Member for Calare Andrew Gee said the project was a great example of the Federal Government and local councils working together to improve community safety.

“The site has a record of crashes and I believe local residents will welcome the new roundabout as it will reduce the risk of future accidents.

“This new roundabout will help to slow vehicles down around the area which is also incredibly important given the close proximity to Canobolas Rural Technology High School.”

Mr Gee said the Federal Government allocated $19.2 million under the Black Spot Programme to fund 52 projects in New South Wales.

Orange Mayor Reg Kidd said the project finished two weeks behind schedule after delays caused by an unknown source of water.

“The aim was always to get this job done during the school holidays and we started work on the roundabout back in December last year,” Cr Reg Kidd said.

“But it wouldn’t be the first excavation job in Orange that’s hit an unexpected source of water and that’s what’s happened here.

“It wasn’t clear from the investigation whether it was one of Orange’s underground springs or a water leak from some distance away, but our council crews worked quickly to divert the flow away from the foundations into a stormwater channel.

“In the long run, an unfortunate two week delay won’t be as important as having a solid foundation and a roundabout that keeps local drivers safe on a busy intersection.”

Orange City Council’s Infrastructure Committee Chair Cr Sam Romano said the Icely Rd/Wakeford St intersection is a busy corner with a poor traffic accident record.

“Within a hundred metres of that corner there’s been six accidents in recent years,” Cr Sam Romano said.

“Two of those accidents involved moderate injuries to pedestrians and another one involved a moderate injury to a passenger in a car.

“The roundabout’s one-lane-in, one-lane-out design means that pedestrians only have to cross one lane of traffic before they get to a refuge island, instead of two.

“We’ve also installed new footpaths and upgraded others to take pedestrians further away from the passing traffic.

“I’d like to thank nearby residents for their patience and understanding during the construction.”

The Australian Government has extended the Black Spot Program and is providing $60 million per year from the 2021 to 2022 financial year onwards, building on the current $684.5 million investment from the 2013 to 2014 financial year to the 2020 to 2021 financial year.