Planning under way to improve safety between Bulli Tops and Picton Road

2 November 2015

Planning is now under way to improve safety and travel times for motorists on the M1 Princes Motorway between Picton Road and Bulli Tops.

Minister for Major Projects Paul Fletcher said the Australian and New South Wales governments had jointly funded $84 million for the planning of stages one and two of the project and to build stage one.

“Stage one of the project is due to start in 2017 and will provide an additional lane in each direction between Picton Road and Bellambi Creek. Motorists will also see an improved road alignment at two locations, just south of Bellambi Creek and south of Cataract Creek,” Mr Fletcher said.

“Planning for stage two, which would provide an additional lane in each direction between Bellambi Creek and Bulli Tops, is also underway. The improvements will link in with the recently completed northbound acceleration lane at the intersection of the M1 Princes Motorway and Picton Road.”

Minister for Roads Duncan Gay said upgrades including widening shoulders to three metres, removal of tight bends and improved drainage will be provided along the length of the upgrade.

“The motorway is currently two lanes in each direction between Picton Road and Bulli Tops and carries around 37,000 vehicles a day, 15 per cent of which are heavy vehicles,” Mr Gay said.

“One of the key drivers of the project is to increase the reliability of access into and out of the Illawarra region and Port Kembla for general freight and larger vehicles.”

Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra Gareth Ward said heavy vehicle traffic on this route is expected to increase by 10 per cent by 2025.

“Due to the tight turns and steep road, heavy vehicles are forced to travel slowly, which creates a marked difference in speed between light and heavy vehicles,” Mr Ward said.

“A concept design and review of environmental factors is now being prepared and will include investigations on biodiversity, visual impact, water quality, Aboriginal heritage and non-Aboriginal heritage.”

Member for Heathcote Lee Evans said Roads and Maritime Services has also published a strategic review into the potential upgrade of Bulli Pass.

“Traffic studies have shown Bulli Pass is used by about 12,000 vehicles a day with heavy vehicles accounting for about five per cent of trips,” Mr Evans said.

“Roads and Maritime Services has been investigating the potential to improve safety and journey times for motorists. Bulli Pass is known for its steep inclines and complex geology which present challenges in the design and building of a new road.”

The review summarises all previous reports and key findings and discusses the nature and extent of challenges in the area.

The Bulli Pass strategic review can be found at Bulli Pass - Princes Highway upgrade.

Media Contacts

For Mr Fletcher: Catherine McDonald - 0447 066 213
For Mr Gay: Vanessa Juresic - 0419 618 081
For Mr Ward: 0401 499 933
For Mr Evans: 0412 444 418                   

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