Timeline dispute over bypass

Project corridor map of the proposed Albion Park Rail bypass. Picture RMS website.

Project corridor map of the proposed Albion Park Rail bypass. Picture RMS website.

INVESTIGATIONS are continuing into the proposed Albion Park Rail bypass, sparking another war of words between the city’s two state MPs. 

The state government allocated $1 million in the 2014/15 State Budget, which will go towards progress and planning for the proposed $600 million bypass.

Member for Kiama Gareth Ward said preliminary geotechnical investigations had started along the reserved road corridor and will take about two weeks.

However, Member for Shellharbour Anna Watson said a route for the bypass had already been drafted some time ago.

 “The state government has already wasted two years and $1.1 million delving into a preferred route for the bypass, which was already preserved 15 years ago,” Ms Watson said.

“It’s one of the reasons why I have proposed that all of the planning, design and environmental impact statement work be front-loaded into a defined period, rather than proceeding on an ad-hoc basis depending on the next lot of funding being allocated in each budget year – which will only drag out the process.

“We need to get on with it, so the Albion Park Rail bypass can be started during the next term of the NSW Parliament.” 

Mr Ward said the investigations would include a study of soil and rock for further information regarding earthworks and foundations for the bypass. 

“Geotechnical investigations will also take place in the Croom Regional Sporting Complex, where research into the proposed route is continuing. 

“Work on the concept design has started, as have other investigations including traffic and hydrological studies. 

“An Environmental Impact Statement will also be prepared and include issues such as the impact to flora and fauna, noise, vibration, air and water quality, flooding and Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal heritage.”

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