The plan and design of the proposed new Shoalhaven River crossing and associated roadworks have been released.
Transport Minister Andrew Constance, Kiama MP Gareth Ward and South Coast MP Shelley Hancock are expected to join Gilmore MP Ann Sudmalis to release the details of the new crossing which will be to the western side or upstream of the current concrete bridge.
The preferred option includes a new four-lane northbound bridge and reconfiguration of the existing concrete bridge (three lanes) to carry southbound traffic.
There will be four intersection upgrades at Illaroo Road, Bolong Road and Bridge Road and a new Pleasant Way T-intersection.
The historic 137-year-old iron Nowra bridge will remain, being used for pedestrians and cyclists and other events.
The historic bridge will continue to carry traffic until the new bridge is complete.
The NSW government has invested $1.6 million, with the federal government $10 million for planning of the new bridge which has included investigating options to determine the appropriate number of lanes required for the new bridge, intersection layouts, and the future of the old southbound bridge.
The preferred option for the project will be on display for community feedback from Monday, February 19 until Friday, March 23 at various locations around the city, while there will also be a number of public drop-in sessions.
Mrs Hancock said she was keen to see the Nowra community provide feedback at a series of information sessions to be held in the near future.
“Five community drop-in sessions will be held in the coming weeks so people can see the preferred option and give feedback,” she said
“We really want to see residents get involved so we can deliver the best traffic network possible.”
The first two sessions will be held between 11am and 3pm Thursday and Saturday, March 1-3 at Stocklands Nowra. The third and fourth sessions will be held between 11am and 3pm Thursday and Saturday, March 8-10 at North Nowra Shops. The final session will be held between 10am and 1pm Saturday, March 17 at Nowra School of Arts Annex.
Mr Ward said the new bridge would be great for local tourism and local residents.
“We have seen record spends on our region’s roads since 2011 and a new bridge will help build on these major investments,” he said.
“The old Nowra bridge has reached the end of its serviceable life and we cannot leave the people of Nowra and Bomaderry with one bridge.
“This is about future-proofing our region with a modern and new infrastructure.”
Mr Constance said the project’s small footprint and high traffic volumes in the area made the process of identifying, developing and evaluating options for the new bridge and intersection upgrades complex.
“Almost 40 possible road network options were identified, assessed and shortlisted to six,” he said.
“Those options were then tested and compared taking into account traffic performance, ease of construction, environmental and heritage effects, maintenance, value for money and stakeholder feedback,”
The preferred option will also be on display from Monday, February 19 until Friday, March 23 at Shoalhaven City Council premises, Nowra Library and TAFE NSW Nowra.
Feedback is invited until Friday, March 23.
More information on the preferred option can be found in the Nowra Bridge Project Preferred Option Summary available at rms.nsw.gov.au/nowrabridge.
What the work entails
1 Princes Highway / Bolong Road intersection - Minor adjustments to be confirmed during concept design.
2 Princes Highway / Illaroo Road intersection - An additional right turn lane onto the Princes Highway from Illaroo Road (three lanes in total). An additional right turn lane from the Princes Highway onto Illaroo Road.
3 Princes Highway / Bridge Road intersection - Relocated further south, see inset 4. Converted to a T-intersection. Access to Pleasant Way closed.
4 New Princes Highway / Pleasant Way intersection - New T-intersection located further to the south. All turning movements catered for.
5 Bridges over the Shoalhaven River - New northbound bridge, located west of the existing bridges. Four northbound traffic lanes with pedestrian/cyclist facilities. Existing concrete bridge – Southbound traffic would use the existing concrete bridge. Southbound capacity would increase from two to three lanes. Existing old southbound bridge – Kept for adaptive reuse such as a shared pedestrian and cyclist path. Closed to vehicular traffic once construction of the new bridge is complete.
Key benefits of the preferred option are improved safety, capacity and efficiency across the Shoalhaven River.
Improving freight movements and access to the South Coast.
Better traffic flow now and into the future and improved pedestrian connectivity.
Preserving the heritage of the old southbound bridge
The Nowra Bridge project area includes the old Nowra bridge, the current northbound concrete bridge and four intersections.
The future of the old southbound bridge has been the subject of extensive investigation by RMS and external experts.
To reach a recommendation, various options were considered and assessed.
The criteria used for assessment included the significance of the bridge, the expected benefits, estimated costs and community and stakeholder feedback and expectations.
It is proposed to keep the old southbound bridge for pedestrian and cyclist use.
Key findings of the reviews found:
There were considerable heritage and social impacts associated with any option to remove the bridge (in whole or part).
The bridge is operationally unsuitable to cater for future traffic demands and should be closed to vehicles once a new bridge crossing of the Shoalhaven River is open to traffic
Intersection options - Due to constraints including high traffic volumes in the area, the process of identifying, developing and evaluating options for the new bridge and intersection upgrades was complex.