LONG-TIME Bega resident Alan Crowe was perched on the Ravenswood St bridge Wednesday morning, watching the first lines of traffic pass below him on the newly opened bypass.
He said in the first 15 minutes he counted more than 100 cars travelling the road from the south – including a couple of highway patrol police vehicles already on the beat.
Mr Crowe has lived in Bega since 1966, around the same length of time a bypass has been on the minds and lips of locals.
“I had a couple of young children ready for school and when we moved here in 1966 we went over to the school to enrol them,” Mr Crowe said.
“The principal said it probably wasn’t a good idea as the bypass might be coming through.
“Well we ended up enrolling them there - they completed their schooling and even their children went to school there.”
Mr Crowe said it was great to see the bypass finally open to traffic.
“To get those trucks of the main street [is a god thing].
“It’s amazing we got away all these years without some really big disaster where the clock tower is.
“All those tankers coming down Gipps St, it would only take one to lose its brakes and God only know what would happen.
“Thank God it never ever happened.
“I’m just hoping now that a lot of the bypass traffic doesn’t affect the businesses too much.
“They’ve done it in other towns and it seemed to work alright.”