CHANGE IN STAGES: The Lake Macquarie Transport Interchange is at the centre of a plan to promote growth in the Glendale, Cardiff and Boolaroo areas.AN economic assessment of the Lake Macquarie Transport Interchange finds that each stage of the project would have overwhelmingly positive impacts on the suburbs involved for the next 30 years at least.

The report by consultants Morrison Low was prepared for Lake Macquarie City Council and was recently posted on the council website for public consumption.

“Theeconomic assessment for the project scenarios was positive,” the report.

“Cost benefit analysis shows that benefits in reducing travel times and distances, improved road safety, cycling benefits and acceleration of land development will outweigh the capital and recurrent costs of the construction works.”

The estimated capital cost of remaining works were$5.4 million for a “missing” section of Munibung Road, $32 million for the Pennant Street, Cardiff, bridge and $120 million for new rail station at Glendale with a bus interchange.

The Pennant Street and Munibung Road works alone would generate net benefits of more than $98 million,with abenefit-cost ratio (BCR) of 3.8 and a net present value per dollar invested (NPVI) of 2.8.

With the $120 million of interchange spending added, the net benefits were almost $57 million, the BCR was 1.4 and theNPVI 0.4.

The report says the interchange would “supporthigher density for mixed-use retail,commercial [and]residential developments in local areas”, which was “expected to lead to higher land values for these developments”.

Measuring the impact of a full interchange with new land zonings, the authors found net benefits of $93.5 milion, a BCR of 1.7 and an NPVI of 0.65.

Detailed tables explaininghow the financial costs and benefits were arrived at showa dozen variables, including recurrent maintenance costs and various transport benefits, calculated upto 2047.

The report found building the Pennant Street bridge and extending Munibung Road would unlock about 90 hectares of development land and improve travel times for 16,000 vehicles a day, including 1500 heavy vehicles.

It said the project was “critical” to achieving the4890 more residents, 2740 new homes and 3800 extra jobs in “construction, retail, commercial and light industries” projected for Cardiff and Glendale by2300.

Lake council wants$26 million this year from the state and federal governments for the project.

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