The New South Wales Government’s proposal to construct a new four-lane bridge on the Princes Highway over the Shoalhaven River at Nowra has been added to the infrastructure priority list.
The priority list provides governments at all levels with a list of nationally significant investment opportunities for the near, medium and longer term.
Inclusion on the list shows the proposal has undergone a rigorous business case assessment and is proved to have significant benefits for the community.
The Nowra Bridge Project will see the construction of a new four-lane bridge immediately to the west of the two existing bridges.
The new bridge could carry north-bound traffic, enabling the existing north-bound bridge to be used for traffic heading towards the South Coast. This would allow the historic bridge, currently used for south-bound traffic to be re-purposed for community use.
Romilly Madew, Infrastructure Australia Chief Executive said the organisation’s assessment of the business case found the project to be a sound investment to support increases in local, regional and tourist traffic.
“The existing bridges at Nowra carry more than 50,000 vehicles each day, with the southbound bridge in particular experiencing significant congestion in both the morning and afternoon peaks,” Ms. Madew said.
The south-bound bridge currently cannot carry vehicles that are more than 4.6 metres tall or Higher Mass Limit B-Double vehicles. Oversize vehicles have to use the northbound bridge with police escort which closes access for north-bound traffic and adds to congestion.
“Congestion and stop-start traffic on the existing bridges at Nowra is a major safety concern. The number of accidents on this section of the highway is significantly higher than for similar roads in NSW with 8.1 crashes per kilometre each year, compared with 1.6 crashes per kilometre on similar roads in NSW,” Ms. Madew said.
The Infrastructure Australia priority list is in development and due for release early next year.