Motorists heading home from Sydney tomorrow afternoon will be thinking “Thank God it’s Friday” for more than one reason.
At 3pm on Friday, Roads and Maritime Services will reopen the pass, meaning drivers no longer will have to take the long way home via the M1 Princes Motorway, or the slow way via Lawrence Hargrave Drive.
And it will stay open – at least until some time in late April when the pass closes again for the second stage of the installation of rockfall fencing.
The reopening is occurring several days ahead of schedule and a Roads and Maritime Services spokesman said that was a good outcome considering there were three emergency reopenings of the pass due to accidents on the motorway.
“To complete the work early despite having to reopen the road three times after crashes on the M1 Princes Motorway at Mount Ousley was a credit to the contractors involved,” a Roads and Maritime Services spokesman said.
“Work was completed ahead of time due to good weather, the contractors being organised and favourable geological conditions allowing post anchors to be drilled into the rock without delays.”
The spokesman said the dates for the 2017 closure of Bulli Pass were yet to be finalised.
“The community will be informed of dates for next year’s closure as soon as they are finalised early in the new year,” the spokesman said.
“Roads and Maritime Services will review plans for the second closure scheduled early next year and adjust these plans where possible to reflect lessons learned from this closure.”
Since the pass was closed on October 4 more than 447 rock anchors have been installed, as well as 86 concrete pads and posts.
Strung along the lower reaches of the pass, from the hairpin bend, 600 metres of netting and more than 180 square metres of rock netting have been installed in gullies on the rock face.
When the fence is finished it will be the longest of its kind in Australia.