JUST a day after the state government revealed its concept plans for the new crossing of the Shoalhaven River at Nowra there is already talk of an action group being formed to put pressure on government to change its thinking.
Shoalhaven Business Chamber spokesperson and transport business operator Tony Emery has described the concept plans for a new Shoalhaven River crossing at Nowra and the upgraded intersections as a “minimalist solution.”
“Out of all the options available they picked the most minimalistic solution,” he said.
“It’s not good enough.”
A bypass of Nowra is a load of crap. A bypass is not the answer, it would be disastrous for Nowra, especially business.Shoalhaven Business Chamber spokesperson and transport business operator Tony Emery
Mr Emery said there was already thoughts of “forming an action group of interested parties from transport and industry to look at possible solutions and pressure the government to provide a proper solution.”
“There will be short term improvement but not for long,” Mr Emery said.
Mr Emery, who operates 11 trucks with his Soilco business and is the business chamber spokesperson for transport and roads, attended Monday morning’s launch of the proposal, which revealed a new four-lane northbound bridge upstream of the current concrete structure and upgrades to Bolong, Illaroo, Bridge roads and Pleasant Way intersections.
“Given Bridge Road is still there and given Pleasant Way is going to get another entrance not much will change,” he said.
“There is proposed work on these four intersections but there are still problems with other roads leading into it.
The old bridge is virtually condemned, we need to replace it as a matter of urgency. Could you imagine it if Nowra was left with just one bridge?Shoalhaven Business Chamber spokesperson and transport business operator Tony Emery
“There will be something like seven sets of traffic lights between Bolong Road and Plunkett Street and possibly even more if the East Nowra Sub Arterial Road (ENSAR) is constructed.”
ENSAR has long been recognised as a solution to the easing congestion on Kalandar Street. It is proposed to run from Greenwell Point Road at the intersection of Old Southern Road, across the floodplain behind Salisbury Estate, Lyrebird Sports Park and Stockland Nowra before joining the highway at North Street.
“The eastern arterial road has to be built prior to the bridge being built,” he said.
“The Northern Collector Road is also needed because of the proposed development at West Cambewarra, which is going to be a another suburb in itself and will service people going west. We still need the North Nowra Link Road, even the preferred option being West Cambewarra to get people from North Nowra across into Bomaderry.
“Hopefully there will be enough opportunity for the community to convince RMS that grade separation is required.
“Do it properly and do it once.”
Mr Emery described calls for a bypass of Nowra, which there has been strong support for on social media, as “a load of crap”.
“A bypass is not the answer,” he said.
“The old bridge is virtually condemned, we need to replace it as a matter of urgency.
“Could you imagine it if Nowra was left with just one bridge?
“A bypass would be disastrous for Nowra, especially business.
“I think the new four-lane bridge design is brilliant - it’s just the approaches that need some work.”
Mr Emery said the business chamber would access the proposal, with members attending the open forums and would be put in formal submission in a timely manner.
Northern Collector Road needs to be built first - Cr Wells
Shoalhaven Councillor John Wells, who has been strongly advocating the need for a flyover at the intersection of Jervis Bay Road and the Princes Highway south of Nowra, said he believes the Northern Collector Road needed to be built before the new bridge was started.
$13.8 million was announced in the 2017/18 federal budget for the project from Illaroo Road, near West Cambewarra Road to Moss Vale Road at Bomaderry with Cr Wells saying council needs to get “cracking on” with the road.
Under no circumstances can that Northern Collector Road not be built and be fully operational prior to the start of the bridge.Shoalhaven Councillor John Wells
“My understanding is the preliminary designs [for the Northern Collector] are being prepared,” Cr Wells said.
“Naturally, now the preferred option for the bridge has been determined and consultation underway, the pressing matter for council is, it needs to get cracking on the Northern Collector.
“Under no circumstances can that Northern Collector Road not be built and be fully operational prior to the start of the bridge.”
As for ENSAR he said some “preloading work” had been done at the Nowra end with fill used from the former skatepark but there had been no mention of project in the forward works program or had costings been discussed.
“We note the increased pressure on Kalandar Street and that will only intensify with further residential development at Callala and Culburra Beach. That pressure will continue to grow, especially if the Long Bow Point proposal goes ahead,” Cr Wells said.
“Council has undertaken upgrade works at Kalandar Street and Hillcrest Avenue, Quinns Lane and Browns Road to try and alleviate some of that eastern traffic movements.”
Works is also currently underway on upgrading a section of Millbank Road and further work is planned at Jindy Andy Lane.
“There is half a dozen Princes Highway access points for the eastern suburbs, it is not like the Jervis Bay, Sanctuary Point areas etc which have just two,” Cr Wells said.