Generally, work will be carried out between 7am and 7pm, Monday to Friday and 8am to 5pm Saturdays. Nearby residents will be notified at least five days in advance of any activities scheduled outside of these working hours.
Some reasons we may need to work outside our standard construction hours include safety, traffic, emergency work, unplanned events, utility service outages and rail possessions. This is outlined in the project’s Environment Protection Licence. If the project team needs to work outside of standard construction hours, we will notify the stakeholders who are likely to be impacted.
In light of COVID-19, the NSW Government has announced construction sites can now operate on weekends and public holidays to support the industry.
The extended hours allow the industry to facilitate social distancing on construction sites, while minimising the potential for lost productivity. For more information, please see the April 2020 latest news update.
The project's potential environmental, social and economic impacts were assessed and measures to minimise and mitigate impacts were outlined in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) prior to project approval. Approval for the project was granted on 30 January 2018 with strict conditions to minimise environmental impacts.
We have an ongoing requirement to ensure we comply with our conditions of approval and regularly report to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment on our compliance.
Considerations and mitigation measures are addressed in our Construction and Environment Management Plan and sub plans. These documents inform how we operate and respond to issues and can be found on the Project documents page.
We often need to temporarily change traffic conditions along the Princes Highway and other roads to ensure the safety of workers and motorists. Changes include reduced speed limits, concrete barriers and temporary fencing, traffic control, night work, and traffic switches.
For safety, it is vital that motorists reduce their speed and adhere to speed limits when travelling through work zones. The reduced speed limits in these areas are enforceable even if you can't see work being carried out on the site.
To build the bypass we need to move about five million tonnes of earth, hard rock and road building material using heavy earth-moving equipment. Construction of any major infrastructure project of this scale generates dust, particularly in periods of hot, dry and windy weather.
We have a number of processes in place to help reduce dust in the area.
For more information on how we manage dust and water use during construction, view or download the Managing dust fact sheet (PDF, 1.5Mb).
The Albion Park bypass was identified by Shellharbour City Council in 1961, which is a proposed extension of Tripoli Way between Terry Street in the east and Broughton Avenue in the west. This is not part of the Albion Park Rail bypass project.
Council engaged consultants, Cardno, in 2016, to help guide design and define project delivery and scope. In February 2020, Council endorsed community consultation to take place on the preferred alignment.
For more information on the proposed Tripoli Way extension project, visit the Shellharbour City Council website.
There are 11 total. The project overview map (PDF, 413Kb) highlights these entry and exit points.
- southbound exit ramp at Yallah
- northbound entry ramp at Yallah
- northbound exit to Dapto
- southbound exit ramp at the Albion Park interchange (Illawarra Highway/ Terry Street)
- northbound entry ramp at the Albion Park interchange (Illawarra Highway/ Terry Street)
- southbound entry ramp at Albion Park (Tongarra Road)
- northbound exit ramp at Albion Park (Tongarra Road)
- southbound exit ramp at Oak Flats interchange
- southbound entry ramp at Oak Flats interchange
- northbound exit ramp at Oak Flats interchange
- northbound entry ramp at Oak Flats interchange and entry to the East West Link.
The Yallah interchange will not be constructed as part of this project and will be subject to future funding and traffic demand. We have carried out traffic modelling which included growth around planned residential developments at Yallah and West Dapto. This indicated the interchange is not required until there is a substantial increase in traffic. The timing for these developments require confirmation from Wollongong City Council and developers.
Dapto, Haywards Bay and Yallah residents travelling south will not travel on the bypass but continue on the Princes Highway through Albion Park Rail using the existing Princes Highway. Traffic through Albion Park Rail is anticipated to significantly reduce, with 65 per cent of traffic expected to transfer onto the completed bypass. This is expected to improve travel times for those travelling on the Princes Highway.
A southbound entry ramp to the bypass will be located on Tongarra Road. Alternatively, motorists travelling from Dapto, Haywards Bay and Yallah can continue on the Princes Highway and join bypass traffic under the Oak Flats Interchange.
Haywards Bay and Yallah residents travelling north will use the existing Princes Highway, which will merge with bypass traffic north of the Dapto exit ramp.
Those travelling south on the bypass will use the exit ramp at the Albion Park interchange (Illawarra Highway/ Terry Street) to get into Albion Park.
To exit Albion Park heading north via the bypass, motorists will use the northbound entry ramp at the Albion Park interchange (Illawarra Highway/ Terry Street).
If travelling north on the bypass, motorists will use the exit ramp at Tongarra Road to get into Albion Park.
Those wishing to leave Albion Park heading southbound on the bypass will use the southbound entry ramp at Tongarra Road.
View or download the project map (PDF, 413Kb).
The East West Link was opened in stages to allow the construction of the bypass to continue in the location of the old East West Link. This included the construction of the noise mound that runs next to the bypass between Croome Road and Durgadin Drive.
Access to Woollybutt Drive and Durgadin Drive from the existing East West Link has been removed and will become cul-de-sacs as part of the project. This is because the bypass is being constructed where the current East West Link is located and these access points will not meet current Motorway standards.
The business park at Albion Park Rail can still be accessed from the Durgadin Drive and Colden Drive intersections at the Princes Highway.
Access to the northern fields including Illawarra Model Car Club, Southlake BMX Club and the little athletics field is from Croome Road, near Cedar Street, Albion Park Rail.
Access to the southern fields including hockey, netball, junior rugby league fields, senior rugby league field, cricket/AFL field and Shellharbour City Stadium is from the entrance gate south of the Croome Road and East West Link roundabout.
Pedestrian access on formal shared paths will be maintained at all times.
Sporting clubs will be notified of any changes to this access in advance.
As part of the Albion Park Rail bypass, 13 bridges are being constructed. These structures include five waterway crossings, one access crossing, one railway crossing, three road crossings, and three bridges for ramp crossings.
The bridges will reduce traffic delays and congestion as well as improve road safety, highway accessibility and freight efficiency and also help to improve the flood immunity of the highway.
The longest bridge on the project is the 210 metre long twin bridge spanning Macquarie Rivulet. The shortest bridge is an access crossing which is around 15 metres long.
The bypass will improve access for motorists during a flood event. Access will be maintained along the motorway during a one in 100 year flood event.
The bypass will provide an alternative route to the Princes Highway and replace the section of the Illawarra Highway most affected by flooding.
There will be some reductions in flooding for properties in Albion Park Rail. Around 20 properties would become flood free in a 100 year flood event due to the construction of a detention basin for the bypass.
The bypass will not improve flooding in all areas and will not solve all of the flooding problems in the area.
The project will improve accessibility for local residents in Albion Park and will improve reliability of access and reduce the need for road closures as a result of flooding.
We are planning for future improvements to the M1 Princes Motorway between Figtree and Dapto.
As part of the planning process, we are modelling current and anticipated future traffic. The project would tie in with other motorway projects and modelling carried out for the Albion Park Rail bypass and the Mount Ousley interchange.
Once the current and anticipated future modelling has been assessed, a range of improvement options will be tested. Options tested aim to:
- Improve travel time and efficiency for road users
- Improve freight accessibility into and out of the region
- Cater for traffic growth as a result of nearby development.
Improvements may include upgrades to on-ramps, off-ramps and construction of additional lanes if necessary.
The interchange was originally built in 2001 to enable the Albion Park Rail bypass to be built and operate with only small changes to the interchange. Three bridges were built on the interchange to facilitate the current Princes Highway with the ability to cater for the new bypass.
Traffic will continue to grow in the area over the next 20 years and future traffic modelling identified the roundabout would not cater for this additional traffic in its current form. Roundabouts do not work well with large numbers of vehicles that are not balanced across the different entry and exit points of the roundabout. During the design of the bypass traffic modelling was carried out to investigate the installation of traffic lights on the interchange. The results found that with minor changes to the existing road and related infrastructure and the addition of traffic lights, the interchange would cater for traffic growth up to 2041.
Two hard rock quarries are based on the East West Link. Trucks from the quarries take time to accelerate and have difficulty entering the roundabout, needing to wait for large gaps to be able to accelerate and safely enter. Trucks and other heavy vehicles found it difficult to enter the roundabout under normal give way conditions. With the installation of traffic lights all heavy vehicles can enter without having to wait for a gap and do not have any conflict with other vehicles at the interchange. This will help improve the safety of the interchange for all road users.
Just like other traffic lights on the road network, road users need to stop at red lights and wait for a green light to move through the interchange. There will be no more giving way or choosing a gap when using the interchange. Traffic will enter on a green light with no conflicting traffic. The interchange has been designed to allow the majority of traffic to get where they want to go in one green light, generally only stopping for one set of traffic lights.
Cyclists will have a dedicated lane and should also follow the direction of the bicycle crossing lights when using the interchange.
Traffic lights will reduce the interaction of traffic, improve safety and reduce the potential for conflicts. Road users will no longer need to merge with other traffic at the interchange. At peak times it can be hard to find a gap in traffic to safely merge.
Traffic modelling during the planning shows the interchange will be able to cater for future traffic growth including large scale urban development in the region over the next 20 years.
Cyclists will have a dedicated lane and this will reduce their interactions with traffic. This will improve safety for cyclists.
Cyclists must also follow traffic signals when using the interchange.
We apologise for the delays caused, especially during the morning and afternoon traffic peaks on 7 and 8 June. When new traffic lights are installed at intersections with large traffic volumes, it takes time to refine the phasing of the traffic signals to ensure a smooth flow during peak times.
Video and physical monitoring has been in place and continues to be used to modify the sequence of traffic light changes to ensure a smoother flow of traffic. Substantial improvements have been made during peak times since the traffic lights were installed.
We expect the situation to improve further when the bypass opens fully in the coming months. We expect that traffic travelling from the north that currently uses the Oak Flats interchange, will enter the interchange using the M1 Princes Motorway. This will help balance the traffic flow in peak periods.
Roads users will travel on the northbound lanes of the new bypass towards Dapto and Wollongong.
Road users travelling to Albion Park Rail will now need to exit at the Oak Flats interchange.
A temporary left turn will be provided for motorists exiting at Tongarra Road. This will be in place until both ramps are complete.
Road users travelling south will continue to use the existing Princes Highway until the southbound motorway lanes are complete.