The Shoalhaven River Bridge is still sitting over troubled waters, with Shoalhaven Business Chamber president Jemma Tribe and Shoalhaven Mayor Amanda Findley calling on state MPs for answers on the future of the bridge.
In December last year, a round table discussion was held with the RMS, state MPs, council and business chamber members to discuss a new plan for the Nowra bridge.
The new design included a dedicated flyover, linking Illaroo Road to the southbound flow of traffic, to address intersection "choke points".
Cr Findley and Ms Tribe say there's been radio silence from the government since, but South Coast MP Shelley Hancock has been quick to hit back, saying the RMS is carefully considering all options for the new bridge.
On Wednesday, Ms Tribe and Cr Findley said they were yet to hear any feedback about the plan from the RMS and were "frustrated" on behalf of the community.
"It is difficult when we aren't getting a response and our members are concerned," Ms Tribe said.
"We are frustrated and we would love to hear what the outcome is and as to whether our designs are being considered, how they might work and how they could work into a broader integrated road solution."
However, Mrs Hancock said consultation with the RMS, business chamber and council has been ongoing, and a response from the RMS was due any day.
"Despite the consultation period having closed many months prior, the very late submission from the business chamber was considered by RMS and consultation has been ongoing, with regular communication between RMS, council and the business chamber, as well as myself," she said.
"RMS have been very studious in listening to the concerns of the chamber and council, developing its response to concerns raised by various stakeholders. Their response is due imminently."
The NSW and Australian governments have each contributed $155 million to the project and Cr Findley said she, and the chamber, believed this money could be spent on a better bridge plan that addressed north and south intersections over a short, medium and long-term time frame.
"The Shoalhaven River Bridge is an essential piece of infrastructure. It's really important that we get this plan right," she said.
"The business chamber and council have made that appeal to the RMS and to our local members because we believe the [the current plan] is not right, it's not the plan that's going to take us into the future."
Current plans for the bridge were expected to completed by mid-2025, with the expectation of servicing the community until 2046, which Cr Findley said "was not good enough".
"The RMS, who are the experts in road design and engineering, they have presented a plan that gives us a position that after 10 to 15 years will return Nowra Bridge to the same congestion levels that it is now," she said.
"What the chamber and Shoalhaven City Council are saying, on behalf of the whole community, is that's not good enough. You're going to put us under significant pressure, and significant loss of time under the infrastructure build that what we what we want is a project that will deliver far longer than that."
While Ms Tribe, Cr Findley and Mrs Hancock all believed the bridge was a significant piece of infrastructure, Mrs Hancock said council's priorities should be elsewhere.
"Given the importance of this project to the community, I fully support RMS taking the appropriate time to carefully consider all community feedback, and encourage the chamber and council to do the same," she said.
"I suggest council focus on their role and deliver the Northern Collector Road. This is an important piece of infrastructure, with funding secured from the Commonwealth two years ago and no explanation as to why construction is yet to commence.”
The Shoalhaven Business Chamber and Shoalhaven City Council said they hoped to hear from the RMS before the state election next month.