Planning work for the development of a new bridge in Batemans Bay has progressed to the next stage, with responses to community feedback released in a report this month.
The submissions report responds to feedback on the bridge concept design and environmental assessment, which were available for public review in late 2017.
According to the report, the main issues raised by the community included the height of the new bridge, retention of the existing bridge, proposed changes to the Princes Hwy/Kings Hwy intersection, noise concerns and water pollution during construction.
A key design concern involved extending the proposed height of the new bridge from 12 metres to between 14 to 20 metres to accommodate larger vessels heading upstream.
The RMS said higher clearances would not be pursued as the bridge would need to be extended on both sides of the river, resulting in further property acquisition and potential biodiversity impacts.
Further community concerns involved the the retention of the current bridge for its heritage value. In response, the RMS said it would seek to remove the existing bridge to improve access for vessels across the Clyde River.
The RMS said it would not be able to achieve the height clearance required if the old bridge was developed into a fishing platform or other tourist feature.
Changes to the Princes Hwy/Kings Hwy intersection were also proposed and involved the construction of slip lanes or an overpass to better accommodate heavy traffic, particularly during peak holiday times.
The RMS said it would seek to implement left slip lanes on the Princes Highway northbound to the Kings Highway and on the Kings Highway to the Princes Highway northbound, in the design.
Additional changes include kerb realignment and the removal of several car spaces at the intersection of the Princes Hwy and North Street to allow safer turning for semi-trailers and buses.
However, the report showed ramps on the Princes Hwy to and from Clyde Street would not be implemented.
Further changes to the design include the widening of Old Punt Road and replacement of the existing T-Wharf with a floating pontoon.
Bega MP and Transport and Infrastructure Minister Andrew Constance said the release of the submissions report marked an important milestone for the project.
“The submissions report responds to all feedback received on the concept design and environmental assessment displayed in November last year,” Mr Constance said.
“As a result of feedback, the Kings and Princes highways intersection will be modified to improve traffic flow and feature additional slip lanes and traffic lights when long queues are detected.
“There will be a floating pontoon on the southern foreshore to provide better boat access.
“Pedestrian access across the river will also be improved with stairs on either side of the new bridge and Old Punt Road will be widened.
“Other changes include improvements to the North Street and Princes Highway intersection to allow trucks travelling south on the highway to turn into North Street without crossing onto the other side of the road.”
Mr Constance thanked the community for having a say and said the next stage would involve the release of the detailed design later in 2018. The construction tender is also expected to be announced later in the year.
Work on the bridge is set to start in early 2019. To view the report, visit the RMS website here.