SOUTH Nowra business owners were granted the perfect early Christmas present last week when the South Nowra roadworks were completed ahead of the busy holiday season.
The business owners had suffered reduced trade over the past two years, and long lines of slow moving traffic had become a far too familiar sight.
To say Sean Ryan from the Holden Dealership in South Nowra was pleased with the end result was putting things mildly.
“We have had an increase of floor traffic already and there has been a massive increase of sales.
“I would say sales are up around the 50 to 70 per cent mark,” he said.
John Rattenbury from South Nowra Meats was also delighted the work was finished.
He said the work hit his business financially and hopes the better flow of traffic would bring more customers to his door.
“It will be better traffic-wise over Christmas,” he said.
However, Mr Rattenbury said he has not noticed an increase in trade as yet.
Frank Baker from Shoalhaven Gas is also relieved.
“The traffic has been terrible and getting to work has been hard,” he said.
Like many others, he was regularly caught in the traffic jams that slowed to a crawl, particularly in the morning and afternoon peaks.
Mr Baker said the new conditions had not been fully tested as yet because many people were on holidays and added the test would come in the next few weeks.
Mr Baker said South Nowra businesses did suffer because many people tried to avoid South Nowra.
Rochelle Chapman from Shoalhaven Garage Door Centre just loves the completed roadworks.
“I was so excited on Friday when the road was opened,” she said.
The St Georges Basin resident had been adding an extra 20 minutes both ways on her commute to work each day.
The $62 million project means there is now a minimum of four lanes between Bomaderry and the Jervis Bay Road.
Sydney based contractors Nace commenced work on the project two years ago, but had to stop almost as soon as they had started, following the discovery of endangered green and golden bell frogs.