Nowra residents are invited to have their say on the preferred option for a new bridge across the Shoalhaven River, with the options report released today by the Australian and New South Wales governments.
The Australian Government has committed $10 million and the NSW Government a further $1.6 million for planning of the new bridge which is expected to be fully complete by late 2019.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Barnaby Joyce said planning was progressing for the new bridge, along with intersection upgrades on the Princes Highway between Bolong Road and Bridge Road.
“This design is about planning for the future and takes into consideration the number of lanes the new bridge will need, as well as intersection layouts and the future of the old southbound bridge,” Mr Joyce said.
NSW Minister for Transport, Andrew Constance said the project’s small footprint and high traffic volumes in the area made the process of identifying, developing and evaluating options for the new bridge and intersection upgrades quite complex.
“Almost 40 possible road network options were identified, assessed and shortlisted to six. Those options were then tested and compared taking into account traffic performance, ease of construction, environmental and heritage effects, maintenance, value for money and stakeholder feedback,” Mr Constance said.
Federal Member for Gilmore Ann Sudmalis said the preferred option released today provided the best balance between travel time savings, value for money and limiting environmental and property impacts.
“Since being elected to represent Gilmore, I have been fighting to deliver for our local community,” she said. “It is great to see that my hard work and $10 million election commitment now means we are in the final phase of consultation to commit to building the bridge. “The design features a new northbound four lane bridge, reconfiguring the existing concrete bridge to carry southbound traffic, intersection upgrades at Illaroo, Bolong and Bridge roads, a new Pleasant Way T-intersection and keeping the old southbound bridge for pedestrians and cyclists,” Mrs Sudmalis said.
NSW Member for South Coast Shelley Hancock said she was keen to see the Nowra community provide feedback at a series of information sessions to be held in the near future.
“Five community drop-in sessions will be held in the coming weeks so people can see the preferred option and give feedback. We really want to see residents get involved so we can deliver the best traffic network possible,” Ms Hancock said.
The first two sessions will be held between 11am and 3pm Thursday 1 and Saturday 3 March at Stocklands Nowra. The third and fourth sessions will be held between 11am and 3pm Thursday 8 and Saturday 10 March at North Nowra Shops. The final session will be held between 10am and 1pm Saturday 17 March at Nowra School of Arts Annex.
NSW Member for Kiama Gareth Ward said the new bridge would be great for local tourism and local residents.
“We have seen record spends on our region’s roads since 2011 and a new bridge will help build on these major investments. The old Nowra Bridge has reached the end of its serviceable life and we cannot leave the people of Nowra and Bomaderry with one bridge. This is about future-proofing our region with a modern and new infrastructure,” Mr Ward said.
The preferred option will also be on display from Monday 19 February until Friday 23 March at Shoalhaven City Council premises, Nowra Library and TAFE NSW Nowra.
Feedback is invited until Friday 23 March. To find out more about the project including details on the drop-in sessions, email NowraBridgeProject@rms.nsw.gov.au.