Albion Park Rail Bypass
Roads and Maritime Services is planning for a future extension of the M1 Princes Motorway between Yallah and Oak Flats to provide a bypass of Albion Park Rail.
In 2013/14 the NSW Government has allocated $1 million to progress investigations and planning.
A bypass of Albion Park Rail would be consistent with the NSW Long Term Transport Master Plan.
A commitment to construct a bypass has not yet been made.
In the mid-1990s, the then Roads and Traffic Authority undertook a study which identified a preferred route for the bypass.
To reserve land for this bypass route, a road corridor was included in the Wollongong and Shellharbour City Council local environmental plans.
This road corridor protects the route from development and reserves land for the road.
Bypass location review
The purpose of the review was to:
- Confirm the need for a bypass of Albion Park Rail.
- Undertake an assessment of the reserved road corridor.
- Identify the next steps for the project.
The review involved:
- Identifying and analysing the issues on the current route.
- Reviewing the route selection study undertaken in 1996.
- Examining the key physical and engineering features of the road corridor to ensure the bypass can meet current road design standards.
- Analysing the traffic and transport performance of the road corridor to better understand traffic volumes and movements in the area.
- Traffic modelling to forecast usage of a bypass, given the reserved road corridor is three kilometres longer than the existing route.
- Consideration of traffic volumes, travel times, attraction for traffic and economic performance.
- Assessing the road corridor in terms of environmental, flooding, community and social issues.
For a summary of the road corridor review, including the findings, go to the road corridor review summary.
For a full copy of the report go to the Road Corridor Report.
Benefits of a bypass
A bypass of Albion Park Rail bypass would:
- Divert a substantial proportion of through traffic onto the bypass, allowing the existing A1 Princes Highway to mainly cater for local traffic.
- Reduce travel times for through and local traffic in both directions and reduce driver frustration.
- Improve the reliability of journey times.
- Provide more consistent driving conditions.
- Increase the road capacity of the M1 Princes Motorway and A1 Princes Highway route. This would better provide for population growth in West Dapto, Calderwood, Tallawarra and Tullimbar.
- Maximise the benefits of upgrading the M1 Princes Motorway/A1 Princes Highway corridor between Sydney and Nowra by bypassing Albion Park Rail and the only traffic lights on the route between Heathcote and Bomaderry.
- Reduce traffic volumes on the A1 Princes Highway through Albion Park Rail. This would improve local amenity and access, and reduce other traffic related impacts, such as noise for nearby residents.
- Improve flood immunity. The bypass would remove the section of the Illawarra Highway near the Illawarra Regional Airport that is highly susceptible to flooding.
To progress planning for a bypass of Albion Park Rail Roads and Maritime will:
- Start survey, geotechnical and hydrological investigations into the bypass.
- Start the concept design, including investigating potential interchange locations and their design.
- Investigate the area near the Croom Regional Sporting Complex to ensure that the concept road design can incorporate current road design standards.
- Investigate opportunities to shorten the route to increase attractiveness to traffic and reduce travel time.
- Further investigate environmental and social impacts.
- Recommence the community engagement process. The community will have opportunities to talk to the project team about the report and the project next steps in early 2014. Details will be available in early 2014.
- Further investigate the potential impact of a bypass on Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal heritage sites.