Confusion over Albion Park bypass plans

Glen Humphries
Updated February 1 2023 - 10:54am, first published January 31 2023 - 12:30pm
Kiama MP Gareth Ward and Shellharbour Deputy Mayor Kellie Marsh have written to the NSW Government for funding for a key Albion Park road. Picture by Sylvia Liber
Kiama MP Gareth Ward and Shellharbour Deputy Mayor Kellie Marsh have written to the NSW Government for funding for a key Albion Park road. Picture by Sylvia Liber

How do you get the funding to build a road that most of Wollongong thinks already exists?

That's part of the issue with the Albion Park bypass. Not the Albion Park Rail bypass.

Just as some in other areas of the city don't realise that Albion Park and Albion Park Rail are actually two separate suburbs, there is also confusion surrounding the long-planned bypass of the Albion Park central CBD.

Talk about the need for that bypass and some scratch their head and say "but they built it already. I drove on it just last weekend".

... there is confusion surrounding the long-planned bypass of the Albion Park central CBD.

For the record, the Albion Park bypass - also called the Tripoli Way extension - would start at the Broughton Avenue intersection and run parallel to Tongarra Road until it links with the Illawarra Highway.

The idea is it would provide a route for vehicles to access the Albion Park Rail bypass without having to drive through the heart of Albion Park, thereby leaving Tongarra Road to local traffic.

Shellharbour City Council first identified the route back in 1961 as a long-term strategic plan.

In recent years council is working towards the construction of the bypass with an expected construction start time of the second half of this decade.

However, the expense of the project - estimated to be more than $35 million - has been an issue for council.

To that end council has applied for a $16 million grant under Round Three of the NSW Government's Accelerated Infrastructure Fund.

Kiama MP Gareth Ward has thrown his support for the funding request in a letter to NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet, co-signed by Shellharbour Deputy Mayor Kellie Marsh.

"The southern Illawarra is the second-fastest growth area in NSW and we need strategic infrastructure investments to ensure growth can occur without it being at the expense of existing local residents," Mr Ward's letter stated.

"Every day local residents are facing increasing traffic volumes due to a lack of planning around local infrastructure but more and more homes are being developed."

Mr Ward told the Mercury that, without the government funding council would have to find the money itself.

"As far as I'm concerned the $16 million is the most important investment the government can make from the Accelerated Infrastructure Fund in the region," he said.

"I would hope if we can secure with these funds we can bring this project forward and have a real plan to deliver congestion-busting infrastructure in Albion Park.

"Albion Park is experiencing congestion every single day, not just at school time, not just at peak times or weekends."

Glen Humphries

Glen Humphries

Senior journalist

I'm an award-winning senior journalist with the Illawarra Mercury and have well over two decades' worth of experience in newspapers. I cover the three local councils in the Illawarra for the Mercury, state and federal politics, as well as writing for the TV guide. If I'm not writing, I'm reading.

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