M1 Princes Motorway improvements, Picton Road to Bulli Tops

As part of improvements to safety, capacity and travel times, the Australian and NSW Governments are jointly funding an upgrade to the M1 Princes Motorway between Bulli Tops and Picton Road, with $84 million allocated to Stage One, Picton Road to Bellambi Creek.

The project

The M1 Princes Motorway between Picton Road and Bulli Tops is currently two lanes in each direction.

This section of road carries about 37,000 vehicles a day, 15 per cent of which are heavy vehicles. Traffic numbers will continue to increase along this route.

Due to the steepness of the road and the tight turns, heavy vehicles travel slowly, which can lead to a large difference in speeds between light and heavy vehicles.

The project would provide additional lanes and improve the curves. This would increase the safety, capacity and efficiency of the M1 Princes Motorway.

Stage One

The first stage of the project will provide an additional lane in each direction of the M1 between Picton Road and Bellambi Creek. The tight curves on the existing M1 north of Picton Road and south of Bellambi Creek will be straightened out to improve safety and traffic efficiency.

We are currently in the planning and design stages of this project and aim to start construction of stage one in mid-2017.

Stage Two

The second stage of the project will link directly into stage one and will provide an additional lane in each direction between Bellambi Creek and Bulli Tops.

The planning and design for stage two will be carried out with stage one. Timing of construction of stage two is yet to be confirmed.

Project benefits

This stretch of road has gradients of between 8-10 per cent and a high proportion of traffic (15 per cent) is heavy vehicles. It is expected that heavy vehicle traffic will continue to grow.

Climbing lanes provide for a separation of high speed traffic from slow moving heavy vehicles and the project aims to improve both safety and traffic efficiency.

The project will improve traffic flow for the approximately 37,000 vehicles per day that travel on this section of Mount Ousley Road. It will also improve freight efficiency, connectivity and productivity within the Wollongong and Illawarra region, particularly between Port Kembla and key regional industries.

Next steps

As the concept design progresses, Roads and Maritime will consult with stakeholders including NSW National Parks, WaterNSW, utility managers, commerical groups, Wollongong City Council and the freight industry for input and feedback. This information will feed into the concept design.

Roads and Maritime is currently undertaking the environmental assessment for the project.

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