Member for Kiama and Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra Gareth Ward MP has today announced that major work has started on the largest ever single investment in the history of the Princes Highway – the Albion Park Rail Bypass.
Mr Ward said that he said that the start of works honours an election commitment that will commence the largest infrastructure investment in the history of the region.
“One of the reasons I stood for Parliament was to fix the Princes Highway,” he said.
“Benefits of the project include improved safety for road users by refining the alignment of the pedestrian and cycle path, and smoother traffic flow at the Oak Flats interchange.
“The project features innovative designs including a bridge that will let sunlight in underneath the highway at Yallah, while incorporating noise mitigation measures and native plant species into the landscape.
“Once complete, the new motorway will bypass 16 intersections and motorists will save up to 30 per cent in travel time.
“It will be a long journey and we thank the community for their patience – it will be worth it.
“Work will ramp up in the coming weeks including utility service investigation and relocation, establishment of safe access and egress points for bypass workers and vehicles, clearing of trees and vegetation, implementation of safety and traffic controls, and temporarily modifying pedestrian and cyclist access.
“Work will generally be carried out between 7am and 7pm on weekdays and 8am to 5pm on Saturdays, weather permitting.
“To minimise extended traffic delays and for the safety of road users and bypass workers, some of these activities will take place at night between 7pm and 6am, weather permitting.
“Utility service relocation work will also be carried out on the Illawarra Highway and East West Link and will include trenching, under boring, saw cutting, excavation, installing new conduits, fitting valves and pipes, backfilling and reinstating ground surfaces.
“A temporary traffic detour during night work will be in place for Illawarra Highway motorists via the Princes Highway and Tongarra Road during utility service relocation work from today between 7pm and 6am for approximately eight weeks, weather permitting, which will add an additional five to 10 minutes to travel times.
“Lane closures, reduced speed limits and stop / slow traffic conditions may be in place during construction and may affect travel times.
“Motorists are asked to observe speed limits and to follow the direction of traffic controllers and signs.
“Residents and emergency services will be provided access at all times. Major construction work to build the bypass is expected to be completed by 2022, weather permitting.
“Labor talked a big game on this project – but never committed to building it. Worse – they voted against funding this project in Parliament. Unlike them, I like building infrastructure in our region,” Mr Ward said.
For more details on the bypass project, please visit the website at: www.rms.nsw.gov.au/projects/illawarra/albion-park-rail-bypass.
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