A proposal for a four-lane bridge on the Princes Highway over the Shoalhaven River at Nowra has been added to Infrastructure Australia’s Priority List.
The New South Wales Government’s proposal to build a new four-lane bridge to the west of the two existing bridges, which could carry north-bound traffic, enabling the existing north-bound bridge to be used for traffic heading towards the South Coast.
This would allow the historic bridge, currently used for south-bound traffic to be re-purposed for community use.
Infrastructure Australia’s Priority List informs all levels of government about the nationally significant investment opportunities for the near, medium and long term.
By being included on the list, it shows a proposal has undergone a rigorous business case assessment and has proven significant benefits for the community.
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Infrastructure Australia Chief Executive, Romilly Madew, said the organisation’s assessment of the business case found the project to be a sound investment to support increases in local, regional and tourist traffic.
“The existing bridges at Nowra carry more than 50,000 vehicles each day, with the southbound bridge in particular experiencing significant congestion in both the morning and afternoon peaks,” Madew said.
The south-bound bridge currently cannot carry vehicles that are more than 4.6 metres tall or Higher Mass Limit B-Double vehicles. Oversize vehicles have to use the northbound bridge with police escort which closes access for north-bound traffic and adds to congestion.
“Congestion and stop-start traffic on the existing bridges at Nowra is a major safety concern. The number of accidents on this section of the highway is significantly higher than for similar roads in NSW with 8.1 crashes per kilometre each year, compared with 1.6 crashes per kilometre on similar roads in NSW,” Madew said.
The Infrastructure Australia priority list is in development and due for release early next year.