For the first time, motorists heading south for the Christmas holidays won't have to drive through Berry.
The cozy country town has long been a bottleneck for holidaymakers heading to places further south.
Drivers have been forced to crawl through the town at a speed limit of 50km/h.
It’s also been a less-than-enjoyable time for the locals too, many of whom tend to avoid heading into town because of the traffic headaches.
For those locals who do journey into town, they have to navigate the busy street to get from one side to the other.
But all those problems are now in the past, with the Foxground and Berry Bypass now open for business.
While parts of the 12.5-kilometre highway were open for traffic in Christmas last year, work on the project wasn’t completed until November this year.
Accordingly, this will be the first summer holiday period where the entire bypass will be open for business – and at a 100km/h speed limit too.
The finished highway includes 15 bridges and eight underpasses and is estimated to save motorists around seven minutes’ travel time.
For those looking to take a break in Berry, there are off-ramps at both the northern and southern ends of the town.
The completed section of the Princes Highway upgrade ends at Muellers Lane, where early work on the final Berry to Bomaderry stage is under way.
This is causing some concern, with the belief that the traffic bottleneck at Berry will now move further south – compounded by the slower roadwork speed limits.
However, efforts have been made to improve holidaymakers’ trip along the Princes Highway.
Kiama MP and Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra and South Coast Gareth Ward said the 80km/h speed limit between Berry and Bomaderry will be lifted to 100km/h from December 22 until January 8.
“I made this request to Roads and Maritime Services to ensure that motorists are not inconvenienced with delays during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday period,” Mr Ward said.
“The speed limit will return to 80 km/h after this period.”
Mr Ward also reminded motorists that double demerits will be in force from December 22 until January 1.