THE upgrade of the Princes Highway between Jervis Bay Road and Sussex Inlet Road has moved a step closer to construction with Cardno Pty Ltd awarded the concept design contract for the project.
The Australian and NSW governments are investing $1.87 billion in projects to transform journeys along the Princes Highway south of Nowra.
The news was one of three major highway announcements including the release of concept plans for the proposed flyover at the Jervis Bay Road and Princes Highway intersection, south of Nowra with the community being invited to provide feedback and that the Milton-Ulladulla Bypass will be to the west of the townships, following the route originally favoured by Transport for NSW and listed in the Shoalhaven City Council Local Environmental Plan in 2013.
"We are committed to upgrading the highway corridor to deliver safer, more reliable and efficient trips which will unlock benefits for local communities, freight and tourism," said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack.
"We are investing in critical projects like this under our record $110 billion infrastructure investment pipeline as part of our Economic Recovery Plan which is securing Australia's future."
NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said with the Albion Park Rail Bypass and Berry to Bomaderry upgrade moving closer to completion and construction underway on the new Nowra bridge, the NSW Government was pushing ahead with works to transform the Princes Highway further south.
"The Princes Highway between Jervis Bay Road and Sussex Inlet Road is getting busier, especially in peak holiday times, and we want to see shovels in the ground as soon as possible," Mr Toole said.
"Cardno's work to take the preferred strategic corridor for the upgrade of this 20-kilometre section of the Princes Highway between Jervis Bay Road and Sussex Inlet through the concept design and environmental assessment stages, moves us a step closer to construction."
Senator for NSW Perin Davey said the release of the consultation reports for the Jervis Bay Road to Sussex Inlet Road project was important for the community, showing how the Princes Highway upgrade will incorporate their feedback throughout the development of the project to deliver the best outcome.
"The community are eager to see these upgrades, but we want to make sure we get it right, because you only get one shot at major projects like these," Ms Davey said.
"We're taking the time to listen to the community to make sure they get the upgrades that meet their needs now and into the future."
South Coast MP Shelley Hancock said the projects are part of the NSW Government's 20-year vision for the Princes Highway and the community's input to its planning and delivery is paramount.
"The community consultation report shows how much community interest there is in these projects and that feedback will be critical to shaping these upgrades," Mrs Hancock said.
"More than 250 people provided feedback on the Jervis Bay Road to Sussex Inlet Road upgrade with two-thirds of respondents agreeing the preferred strategic corridor option would improve safety and reliability, reduce congestion and improve resilience of the transport network."
While largely welcomed, the proposed upgrade has caused angst for some residents in and around the Wandandian area whose properties will be greatly impacted by the highway work.
Transport for NSW Regional Director Southern Sam Knight confirmed the corridor originally proposed for the highway upgrade would be used and it would impact on some farming land and residents.
"Most of the JB to SI corridor does follow the Princes Highway," she said "but it does divert around the Wandandian community and will impact some residents."
She said discussions with the residents were "ongoing" and "would be continuing".
"Large infrastructure projects do impact on property," she said.
"And this one will impact on property and we will continue to discuss with those communities on how impacted they will be."
The community is invited to visit nswroads.work/jervisbayroad-sussexinletupgrade to view the consultation report, which includes responses from Transport for NSW to all comments raised during consultation.