Northern Shoalhaven motorists were reeling as traffic in Bomaderry, North Nowra and Meroo Meadow came to a grinding halt due to a gluten spill near the Nowra bridge on Wednesday.
It took five hours for heavy southbound traffic to ease on the Princes Highway.
At 2pm on Wednesday, after witnessing three hours of gridlock from a Bomaderry service station, I recorded a live video of traffic delays for our Facebook followers, and heard a familiar voice – it was Workforce XS Nowra managing director Ross Thompson calling out from his work ute.
It was safe to cross, and southbound traffic was at a complete standstill, so I walked to the traffic island for a brief chat.
Ross was seething.
“The whole city is at a standstill from a relatively minor accident,” he said.
His car rolled 3km in one hour and 45 minutes, before crossing the bridge and reaching his destination at Worrigee Street, Nowra.
On Thursday he said Roads and Maritime Services plans for intersections near the bridge would not meet the needs of the local business community.
“If they’re going to spend $310 million on the bridge, then build in a grade-separated interchange (overpass) for Illaroo and Bolong Roads,” Ross said.
“Gareth Ward has done a lot for our community to get the funding he has, it’s great the Nowra bridge is funded.
“Why not future-proof it, plan it for a longer-term outcome.”
Like many local residents, Ross avoids the highway on long weekends and certain holidays.
“With a dual-lane expressway from Heathcote to Bomaderry, think about it, the bottleneck’s only going to move to the bridge,” he said.
“Think of the amount of traffic already coming through town during Christmas holidays, they need to knock down two sets of lights to help it flow.”