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With safety the main concern, will economics drive the Jervis Bay Road Intersection Upgrade?

July 15, 2020

By Brad Stanton

South Coast residents continue to fight for a flyover at the Jervis Bay Road and Princes Highway corner. This matter has been in limbo since 2018 when Councillor John Wells first introduced a motion for a flyover design. Shoalhaven City Council later supported the motion.

Between December 2013 and December 2018, there had been 15 recorded motor accidents at the intersection, with six incidents involving serious injuries. Many of these accidents were cars turning from Jervis Bay Road onto the Princes Highway. Many residents and tourists have said they feel anxious or fearful when turning right towards Nowra.

Between December 2013 and December 2018, there had been 15 recorded motor accidents at the intersection, with six incidents involving serious injuries.

Jervis Bay Road X Princes Highway Intersection.
Photo: Transport for NSW

Jervis Bay Road, the main feeder road into Vincentia, Huskisson, Hyams Beach and Jervis Bay, is a major traffic carrier within the South Coast and this highway intersection, by the state government, was labelled as 'dangerous' and 'most critical to upgrade' between Nowra and the Victorian border.

Desperately required is an intersection that is safe, free flowing and reliable.

Even in 2018 it was being recognised that with development, the area was expanding, and the amount of traffic was increasing. This intersection has always been a topic of conversation amongst locals, with congestion and delays; not only during peak periods, but also in off seasons. Although predominately the increase in traffic is during peak holiday period.

Intersection not in sight - The long wait to turn onto highway on a Sunday.
Photo: Brad Stanton

Whilst State Liberal MP Shelley Hancock acknowledges the communities want for an overpass, and the Transport for NSW report, no definite answer has been provided, keeping all options open. Mrs Hancock stated Transport for NSW would come up with the safest and best design.

They already have.

A Transport for NSW report prioritised three main factors. Safety, functionality and environmental, along with several other minor factors. A Grade Separation design, what the community ultimately seek, scored highest in safety and easing congestion. It also scored quite well with design flexibility, noise impact and impact to road users during construction.

The other two options for intersection design were a round-about and traffic lights.

Grade Separation (Flyover) concept.
Image: Transport for NSW

Unfortunately, a Grade Separation, or flyover design would take the longest to construct, and is the most detrimental to the environment, however with the questionable land clearing at the current intersection, that could always change.

A smaller wait to see it complete would be easily compensated with the final result and the benefits it would bring, and right now progress seems no closer. NSW Labor deputy leader Yasmin Catley last week joined Councillor Annette Alldrick at the controversial intersection, throwing support behind the flyover and requesting that the State MP's should listen and act on behalf of the community.

The new highway and bypass between Berry and Bomaderry have no new roundabouts yet numerous overpasses and underpasses, and those intersections carry far less traffic than that at busy Jervis Bay Road. So, an overpass would remain in character and protocol of previous construction in the area.

Clearly there will be environmental impact and Aboriginal heritage issues that will need to be addressed, along with homes and businesses that may be impacted in Falls Creek. A previous search of the Aboriginal Heritage Information Management System (AHIMS) register found no sites listed within the intersection investigation area or the immediate locality.

Preventing accidents and deaths is fundamental; eliminating traffic congestion - positive for tourism and the local economy. The communities wish for an overpass needs considering, negative impact is minimal, and everyone and everything has been considered. Safety first, and common sense.

To support a flyover: Join the community based movement at Vincentia Matters or email Shelley Hancock MP / Gareth Ward MP

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    9 comments on “With safety the main concern, will economics drive the Jervis Bay Road Intersection Upgrade?”

    1. If it's vital to minimize travel times and OK to disregard the huge costs involved, the damage to the environment and destruction of habitat, then yes let's have a big ugly overpass and years of roadworks disruption. I get it that this seems to be the preference of the majority, but why no serious consideration of the least destructive option for the environment and the least visually polluting - traffic lights.

    2. A flyover is the only sensible way to deal with the traffic issues at this point and the Hume Highway is a prime example of this. A roundabout will slow vehicles and still cause accidents and probably a traffic bottleneck at times. Why are we wasting time, so please get moving and get the flyover built. If an environmental assessment is required, it should be done as soon as environmentally feasible to conduct it by a qualified person with the right ethics.

    3. I live in Sussex inlet I'm a taxi driver I drive to Nowra all the time. I always see cars come out in front of other time a car was cleaned up by a cement truck so definitely an overpass. And by the way your a bloody ideot building a round about on the highway. And also traffic lights need to be built down Ulladulla high school effective immediately. And the money your spending on a new bridge could be spent on a bypass around Nowra. If there is no lights or overpass I won't be voting for you in next election.

    4. A roundabout would be the less favourable option as it would not provide any opportunity for traffic turning north from Jervis Bay Rd on to the highway to Nowra . The only way the steady stream of southbound traffic would ever be halted would be to give way for northbound vehicles turning right. That seldom happens so therefore the roundabout option would create no solution whatsoever.

    5. A highly topical subject that just needs attending to sooner than later even just for safety alone. Well written Mr Stanton and by keeping it in the public domain should see its commencement ASAP? Cheers

      1. The highway is to busy it is like playing Russian Roulette with your life and those of our Children and families.
        We have a Daughter and her family live out there l check them all the time as soon as lhear of an accident,I live in Cambewarra and won't go through the Moss Vale, Princess Highway at MacDonald in Bomaderry talk about take you life in your own hands . When are they going to put traffic lights there how many people have been hurt ,Are all the Pillows waiting for people to die .
        Then see who passed the buck.

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