THE first stages of the long awaited Albion Park Rail Bypass are underway.
Design concepts and environmental impact statements will be the first elements of the proposed bypass. Sydney contractors Hyder and Cardno have been appointed for the project.
Member for Kiama Gareth Ward said it was a “major step in the right direction” in the future planning for the extension of the Princes Motorway to provide a bypass between Yallah and Oak Flats.
“Hyder and Cardno joint venture will work with Roads and Maritime Services over the next two years to complete a concept design for the proposed bypass,” Mr Ward said.
“As part of the contract, they will carry out site work and studies including surveys, geotechnical, flooding and traffic investigations.
“Other elements include the development of the concept design of the bypass, including road and bridge design, structural and drainage design and landscaping.
“A bypass is expected to significantly reduce travel times, bypass 16 intersections and significantly reduce the risk of crashes.
“Hyder and Cardno joint venture will also take into consideration outcomes of previous technical studies and community consultation when developing the concept design for the bypass.
“The community will have opportunities to comment as the concept design progresses,” Mr Ward said.
One million dollars was allocated to further develop plans for the Albion Park bypass in the 2014/15 State Budget last week. Local member Anna Watson criticised the figure for the bypass saying it was a “miserable amount” and a “kick in the guts” for the Shellharbour region.
“All we seem to have is planning money,” she said. “There was a $70 million blowout on the Berry bypass, which could have gone into the Albion Park bypass.”