It’s been a long journey, but soon residents using the Nerriga Road will enjoy the benefits of a sealed road.
The bumpy 16.5 kilometres of unsealed road connecting Braidwood with Nerriga has long been a thorn in the side of locals and tourists alike.
However, that will soon change.
Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey, Member for Monaro John Barilaro and Queanbeyan Palerang Regional Council Mayor Tim Overall gathered recently to turn the first sod in the $39 million upgrade program.
Funding was announced in the June state budget, as part of a $70 million roads package in the Queanbeyan Palerang Region.
Mayor Overall emphasised the importance of the road to the region.
“Nerriga Road is approximately 50km in length between Braidwood and Nerriga. Beyond Nerriga the road continues for a further 70km and links Queanbeyan-Palerang with Nowra, the Shoalhaven and Illawarra districts, and beyond,” he said.
“Approximately 16.5km of Nerriga Road currently remains unsealed. This roads package will see the sealing of those sections as well as the widening and reconstruction of some sections and the replacement of the single-lane timber bridge at Charleyong.”
The road carries between 800 vehicles per day near Nerriga, to around 200 vehicles per day to the south of Charleyong. The volume of traffic on the roads increases significantly during the summer months.
QPRC will undertake works to the road using its own resources. Construction on the first phase of works is expected to start in January, with completion in 2018.
Resident Julia Gibb said improvements to the road will not only improve the lives of people who live between Braidwood and Nerriga, but will open up new possibilities for Braidwood itself.
“It opens up so many opportunities for the town” says Ms Gibb.
“What warms my heart is that it isn’t just about the Nerriga road, it actually opens up so much for the town.”
She believes the road could change how tourists travel between Nowra and the north and Canberra, and may draw even more tourism to Braidwood.