Princes Highway and Little Forest Road Intersection Improvements – Milton

The Australian Government provided $3.2 million for a new intersection to improve road safety for motorists and residents under the Gilmore Safety Package.

Updates and announcements

Work to improve safety at the intersection of the Princes Highway and Little Forest Road north of Milton was completed on Monday 19 December. The new road is now open to traffic and 100km/h speed limit has been reinstated on this section of the highway.

The upgrade will improve safety for motorists, with the intersection moved 380 metres south to provide motorists with better visibility when turning on to the Princes Highway from Little Forest Road.

Work on the upgrade started in February 2016, with 17,000 tonnes of road base imported for construction of the new alignment of Little Forest Road. The southbound lane of the Princes Highway was also widened to allow for construction of the new right hand turn bay for the new intersection.

Feedback from the community and investigations carried out by Roads and Maritime Services made it clear the best option to improve safety was by moving the intersection.

Roads and Maritime thanks the community for its patience while work was carried out.

Background

The intersection of the Princes Highway and Little Forest Road is currently located on the crest of a hill with poor sight distance. It is difficult to find a gap in the traffic to turn right out of Little Forest Road onto the Princes Highway. It is also difficult for vehicles to turn left into Little Forest Road from the Princes Highway because vehicles have to slow down in front of 100km/h traffic.

Project benefits

Roads and Maritime Services will make changes to Little Forest Road so it intersects with the Princes Highway at a new location. This will improve safety and visibility for motorists by:

  • Improving sight distance so motorists turning out of Little Forest Road onto the Princes Highway can safely select a gap in highway traffic
  • Improving visibility of the intersection and turning vehicles for motorists on the Princes Highway.

Key features

  • Little Forest Road will be moved to intersect with the Princes Highway 380 metres south of the existing intersection
  • The existing intersection will be closed
  • A dedicated right turn lane into Little Forest Road on the Princes Highway will be retained.

Other options considered

Roads and Maritime Services received feedback during two community information sessions in March 2015 and considered a number of options to improve the intersection. The options that were considered include:

Realigning the highway to remove the existing curve

This would require major earthworks including deep cuttings, large embankments and greater property acquisition resulting in significantly higher costs estimated at $30 to $50 million.

Upgrading the existing intersection to a ‘seagull’ arrangement

A ‘seagull’ intersection would provide dedicated lanes for vehicles turning right out of and left into Little Forest Road. This arrangement would not improve the short distance currently available to see other vehicles at the existing intersection. Other considerations for ‘seagull’ intersections are discussed below.

Moving the intersection of Little Forest Road and the Princes Highway to another location with a ‘seagull’ arrangement

This option has not been selected due to emerging safety concerns related to seagull intersections in high speed zones (where the posted speed limit is 80km/h or above).

Roads and Maritime is experiencing high rates of crashes at a number of other locations with ‘seagull’ arrangements and as a consequence they are not considered as suitable in high speed environments as they previously have been.

Lowering the speed limit

Roads and Maritime has considered the NSW Speed Zoning Guidelines, which take into account factors including the type of road, amount of roadside development, the alignment of the road and the crash rate and believes the 100km/h speed limit at this location is appropriate.

Removing the overtaking lane and providing a dedicated left turn lane into Little Forest Road

Due to the small amount of traffic accessing Little Forest Road and the number of vehicles travelling the highway, this option has not been selected. The new intersection location will have an improved two metre road shoulder compared to the existing location. The current proposal offers effective, value for money safety improvements for this section of road.

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