Will common sense prevail, or will Olympic Highway drivers be directed to take a 35-minute detour via Stockinbingal on the weekend of the Wattle Time Parade and Fair and the Father's Day Swap Meet?
Both the mayor and the police officer-in-charge favour a short detour via Rinkin Street and past the Showgrounds, but the ARTC is standing by its recommended Stockinbingal option.
The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) says a detour for traffic on the Olympic Highway, taking vehicles 35 minutes out of their way to avoid the closed level crossing, was recommended by the council and agreed by Roads and Maritime Services (RMS).
The ARTC was asked by the Herald this week why no mention was made of a much shorter detour available through the town's back streets, past the showground.
This short detour, taking only a minute or two more than the normal route, can take southbound traffic via Rinkin Street, Pinkerton Road, Berthong Street and Muttuma Road to the Hovell Street roundabout - and northbound vice-versa.
Why, the ARTC was asked, would the maximum possible inconvenience and disruption be recommended for the Cootamundra community on the weekend of Wattle Time and the Swap Meet?
The ARTC's response, received on Thursday, made no comment on the shorter detour, stating only that the detour via Stockinbingal "needs to accommodate heavy and light vehicles", and that it was recommended by the council and agreed by RMS.
Cootamundra-Gundagai mayor Abb McAlister said on Wednesday that while heavy vehicles might be diverted, he was firmly in favour of a compromise whereby at least light vehicles such as normal sedans, SUVs and utilities, were directed to use the Rinkin Street detour.
The mayor's views were echoed on Thursday by the officer-in-charge of Cootamundra Police, Inspector Frank Brown, who said he could see no reason why the Rinkin Street detour couldn't be used.
An ARTC spokesperson yesterday repeated that the railway line at Cootamundra West/Yass Road was part of the main Sydney-Melbourne railway line which is being closed at many points in what ARTC refers to as an annual "super possession" so maintenance crews can work safely and efficiently without trains running.
About the only thing Cootamundra drivers, used to two big bumps over the crossing, can take comfort from is that ARTC says the work "will provide a much smoother ride for vehicles as well as trains".