Southern road closures

Maintaining our roads is essential to ensure they remain safe for all road users. The Roads and Maritime Services maintenance program includes the planned maintenance of the state road network and essential emergency repairs. The information on this page is about scheduled road maintenance.

Carrying out work while roads are closed increases safety of Roads and Maritime workers, as well as motorists, especially on high-speed roads like motorways and the steep, winding and narrow roads found on the Illawarra escarpment. During full closures we can get more work done in a shorter amount of time which ensures a higher standard of maintenance and can work out more cost effective for NSW taxpayers.

Full road closures also allow other authorities like councils and utilities companies to carry out their work alongside our crews meaning less disruption on the road network.

All closures are subject to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. Please check this page regularly for the latest information or visit

Night work on the M1 Princes Motorway


All scheduled maintenance closures are finished for 2016 and the Southern Road Closures office will be closed until Monday 23 January 2017.

There are several road closures planned for the first quarter of 2017. These essential maintenance works will increase road safety for motorists throughout the region.  Please visit this page regularly for updates.

If you are travelling over the holiday period, please drive carefully and stay safe.

Road closures and detour routes

M1 Princes Motorway, Helensburgh to Bulli Tops

Closed:  Closure will be from 8pm-5am

  • Sunday 15 January - Wednesday 18 January (southbound)
  • Monday 23 January - Tuesday 24 January (southbound)
  • Thursday 19 January (northbound Helensburgh on ramp)
  • Sunday 22 January (northbound Helensburgh off ramp)

Detour: Light and heavy vehicles via Princes Highway.

Additional travel time: Motorists travelling between Helensburgh and Bulli Tops, up to 5 minutes.

See Helensburgh to Bulli Tops detour map for details.

Clive Bissell Drive, Mount Ousley, between M1 Princes Motorway and Mount Keira Road

Closed: Monday 21 November until March 2017

Detour: M1, Picton Road and Mount Keira Road, or via Mount Keira Road.

Additional travel time: motorists should allow for an extra five minutes travel time.

See Clive Bissell Drive detour map for details.

For more information please see Mount Ousley heavy vehicle rest area project page.

Macquarie Pass

Closed: Tuesday 31 January until Thursday 2 February, 9am-3pm

Detour: Light vehicles via Jamberoo Mountain to Albion Park. Heavy vehicles via Hume Motorway, M1 Princes Motorway to Albion Park

Additional travel time: Light vehicles, 11 minutes. Heavy vehicles, 18 minutes.

Additional information: If you wish to visit a business on the Illawarra Highway between Macquarie Pass and Tullimbar you will be allowed through traffic control at Tullimbar. You will not be allowed onto Macquarie Pass.

See Macquarie Pass detour map for closure and routes.

M1 Princes Motorway, Waterfall to Bulli Tops

Closed: Sunday 5 February until Thursday 9 February, 8pm-4am

Detour: Light and heavy vehicles via Princes Highway.

Additional travel time: Motorists travelling between Waterfall and Bulli Tops, 5 minutes.

See M1 Princes Motorway, Waterfall to Bulli Tops detour map for closure and routes.

Memorial Drive, North Wollongong to Bulli

Closed: Sunday 19 February until Thursday 23 February, 8pm – 4am

Detour: Light and heavy vehicles via Princes Highway

Additional travel time: Motorists should add 10 minutes to their travel time.  

Additional information: Memorial Drive residents are advised to contact the Project Office on 02 4222 3217 to find out the schedule of works planned near your property.

See Memorial Drive detour map for closure and routes.

Frequently asked questions

Why do we close roads for maintenance?

Working close to fast moving traffic creates significant risk to our workers, as well as to motorists. Between July 2013 and June 2015, there were 53 injuries to road workers as a result of working near traffic. There were also 29 serious incidents and 41 near misses that could have resulted in serious injury or death.

It’s not just road workers who are at risk. In 2013, there were 521 crashes involving motorists at road works sites, 209 of which caused injury, and eight crashes involved at least one fatality.

By removing traffic from worksites, we create a safer environment for both our workers and motorists.

Carrying out work under a full closure is also more efficient. We can get more work done in a shorter amount of time, it ensures a higher standard of maintenance, and can work out more cost effective for NSW taxpayers.

Watch this short video of what can happen when high speed traffic is moving near road works sites (no audio):

How do we choose which roads to close?

While it is safer to remove traffic from our worksites, not all roads are suitable for a full closure. We choose road closures based on a number of factors, including: 

  • The traffic along the road –high speed traffic, such as on a motorway or freeway, makes it more dangerous for our workers
  • The shape of the road – if the road has a lot of curves, is steep, or narrow in parts, then having traffic around the worksite is more dangerous
  • If there is an appropriate detour for all vehicles around the road closure
  • The impact on traffic – working on roads during the day is our first choice for safety of our workers, however this is not always possible. We try to close roads during times when traffic is least affected and often this means closing roads at night.

How do we choose what section of the road to close?

Long roads such as the M1 Princes Motorway are closed in sections according to the availability and appropriateness of detours. Detours must be safe for the travelling public without creating safety issues for residents and businesses along the detour route.

Which roads are closed?

See Road closures, detour routes and updates for a list of upcoming road closures for scheduled maintenance. This program is subject to change due to weather or unforeseen circumstances. Please check the website for changes, as this list will be updated regularly.

What work is done during road closures for maintenance? 

Work varies between different roads and different scheduled closures. Generally, we will work with local councils, emergency services, utilities and telecommunications providers to have all work done during a closure. This work may include: 

  • Vegetation management
    Trees and other vegetation can prevent motorists from seeing hazards such as slow or turning traffic, or other obstacles ahead. Trimming or removing trees, cutting grass, weed control, replanting is carried out where necessary. Fallen branches or trees and leaves are also collected.
  • Repairing road surfaces
    Road damage can form for a variety of reasons, including high usage of the road, water getting under the surface and washing away the foundations of the road. Where the surface has been damaged, repairs can range from mending potholes to complete resurfacing.
  • Fixing signs
    Road signage provides road users with important safety information on the state of the road and what lies ahead. Signs can fade or get knocked over and need to be cleaned or replaced. Electronic signs need to be cleaned, have globes replaced or wiring repaired.
  • Safety barriers
    Safety barriers protect vehicles from driving off the road or crossing into oncoming traffic. Guardrail and wire rope fences that have been damaged will need to be repaired or replaced.
  • Linemarking
    Replacing worn or faded lane lines, speed signs, and turning lanes ensures that motorists can easily see where and how they should be driving to avoid risk of accidents.
  • Drains
    Blocked drains can cause flooding over the roadway and can also affect the road surface and cause potholes to form. Rain washes leaves, rubbish and other debris onto grates and into drains. Rubbish thrown from vehicles or dumped by the side of the road can accumulate in drains causing blockages. During closures we clean debris from gutters, grates and drains to improve the removal of water and prevent flooding of roads.
  • Rubbish collection
    Rubbish thrown out of cars, blown off trailers, or dumped in bushland accumulates on the side of roads. All this rubbish and litter needs to be swept, collected and removed.
  • Bridges
    Bridges also need to be maintained to keep them in good condition. During closures for maintenance work we repair bridge railings, inspect joints, replace parts where necessary, clean gutters and drains to make sure water can flow off the bridge and not flood the road or footpath.
  • Planning for the future
    While roads are closed to traffic, we inspect the road for any potential problems such as cracking in the road surface and underground drainage pits. This means we can better plan future maintenance work to avoid emergency repairs and maintain the road to a satisfactory standard.
  • Graffiti Removal
    Bridges, sound walls and other infrastructure next to roads are a target for graffiti which can be an eyesore.

Is there any work done outside maintenance closures?

Good maintenance is the best way to avoid emergency situations happening on the roads.

Despite our efforts, emergency maintenance still may need to be done outside closure times, particularly in times of bad weather events.

We are working to keep this emergency work to a minimum in the future.

What do we do with woodchips and mulch from vegetation maintenance?

Mulch is stockpiled and reused on median strips, verges, and other places by roads where we have gardens. Some vegetation waste is taken by contractors who carry out the vegetation control, and might then be sold to the public. Roads and Maritime Services does not sell mulch direct to the public.

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