An internal government document shows Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra Gareth Ward has concerns about the northern interchange of the Albion Park Rail Bypass.
But those concerns don’t seem likely to guarantee Dapto residents access to the bypass.
In September the Mercury broke the news that Dapto residents travelling south could be cut off from the bypass and be forced to use the Princes Highway.
That bypass access would be created by the full construction of the Yallah interchange – which features two roundabouts – at the northern end of the bypass.
Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) has said funding is yet to be allocated for the interchange “as modelling shows it is not required until there is a substantial increase in traffic”.
Under a freedom of information request, the Mercury has obtained an internal RMS email that gives notes on a briefing senior staffers held with Mr Ward.
The meeting was to brief Mr Ward on key changes to the bypass, which included the possible staging of the Yallah interchange.
The notes from an RMS staffer state Mr Ward was leaning towards a partial construction of the interchange – which could still leave Dapto out in the cold.
“GW expressed concern over the northern interchange western roundabout not being built straight away,” the minutes stated.
“AR [RMS senior project manager Adrian Rouse] said it would be included as a mandatory option in the D&C [design and construction] contract and GW said he would try and push for further funding to get this built.
“GW was OK with the timing of the eastern roundabout being dependent on surrounding developments.”
Maps of the interchange show the western roundabout supplying northbound access to motorists entering or exiting the motorway.
According to the maps the eastern roundabout would feed Dapto’s southbound motorists on the bypass – without it they would have to use the highway.
It is not known what effect building one roundabout would have on traffic flow.