MOTORISTS travelling via Gerringong who have been frustrated by delays such as those resulting from last week’s heavy rains appear to have been given some relief.
Work has been completed on the new northbound lanes on the Princes Highway, located to the south of the Belinda Street entrance. On Monday, one lane in each direction was opened for motorists, with works completed ahead of schedule.
Kiama MP Gareth Ward said traffic was last month diverted onto the new northbound lanes at the north and south ends of the project, and has now been diverted to the new northbound lanes south of Belinda Street.
‘‘We’re opening 700 metres of road that’s been put together in a week,’’ he said. ‘‘We weren’t expecting to open this section for another five to six weeks.
“Last week, heavy rain caused damage to the surface of the old Princes Highway.
“Damage to the nearby embankment caused small cracks to appear, reducing the highway to one lane.
“As a result, Roads and Maritime worked with the Environmental Protection Authority to allow work to be carried out around the clock to ensure the new northbound lanes could be completed ahead of schedule.
“The traffic has now been moved to the new northbound lanes much earlier than anticipated.
‘‘I’m very grateful to Fulton Hogan and the RMS, who have delivered an improvement which will allow traffic to move much more free-flowing without the stop-go that we have at the moment at Belinda Street.
‘‘Motorists can look forward to fewer delays and less congestion on the highway, and a return to normal conditions.’’
The works are part of the $329 million Princes Highway upgrade at Gerringong.
This incorporates the upgrade of 7.5 kilometres of the highway, including two new interchanges which provide access to Gerringong and Gerroa, by mid-2015, weather permitting.
Mr Ward said work to build the new southbound lanes has started.
Work will be carried out between 7am and 6pm weekdays, and 8am and 1pm on Saturdays.
The southbound lanes at this location are expected to open to traffic in early 2015, weather permitting