Realignment of the Olympic Highway at Kapooka
Construction funding has now been allocated for this project with $19.5 million funded by the Australian Government and $19.5 million from the State Government's Bridges for the Bush program.
It is expected construction will commence in mid 2014.
Roads and Maritime Services is planning to realign the Olympic Highway and replace the existing bridge over the main southern railway line at Kapooka. An option to build a new bridge north of the existing bridge and realign the highway to the east has been selected as the preferred option.
The preferred option report is available on the project documents page.
Roads and Maritime is planning for a future upgrade of the Kapooka Bridge across the main Sydney-Melbourne railway line on the Olympic Highway at Kapooka, 7.5 kilometres south of Wagga Wagga.
The proposed upgrade would reduce travel times and improve road safety along this stretch of highway which has a history of crashes.
Built in 1880, the bridge includes two, 90 degree bends on the approaches, where the majority of crashes occur. The bridge is a restriction for higher productivity vehicles on this route. Roads and Maritime is investigating how to best upgrade this crossing and approaches.
We displayed four options for comment from December 2010 to February 2011.
A value management workshop involving community members and stakeholders was held in May 2011.
We used this feedback to carry out further investigations and determine the preferred option, announced n December 2011.
COMMUNITY FEEDBACK IMPROVED THE DESIGN
Roads and Maritime displayed four options for comment from December 2010 to February 2011.
These options were the North Bridge, South Bridge, Two Bridges and Underpass.
We received 13 submissions about the project. The issues and suggestions raised included:
- Removing the crest south of the existing bridge rather than improving it.
- Catering for freight demand in the long term.
- Environmental concerns including threatened species habitat, biocertified environmental protection zoning east of the existing bridge and connectivity across the proposed alignments.
- Blocking off Camp Access Road and using Kapooka Road as a new military area access.
- Allowing vehicles travelling from Kapooka to Wagga Wagga to accelerate to a speed that minimises conflict with trucks travelling at 100km/h.
- Allowing for peak traffic volumes at the right turn from Wagga Wagga to Kapooka.
- Considering noise impacts from truck braking and the possibility of this noise increasing with the removal of trees.
As a result of this feedback, as well as further design refinements, the South Bridge and Underpass options were not considered further.
VALUE MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP
In May 2011 a value management workshop was held with participants from the community, Wagga Wagga City Council, Kapooka Military Area, freight industry, government agencies and project staff with technical areas of expertise. Variations to the displayed North Bridge option and Two Bridges option were developed for evaluation at the workshop. The options were evaluated against the following criteria:
- Safe access into and out of Camp Access Road.
- Minimise road user costs and whole of life costs.
- Safety and utility for road traffic using the Olympic Highway.
- Minimise the extent of impacts of property acquisition.
- Minimise the impact on property usage and residents, including noise, land use, visual, individual environmental amenity and provide safe access.
- Safety and convenience for cyclists and pedestrians.
- Minimise environmental impacts including ongoing impacts.
- Minimise impacts to Aboriginal and non Aboriginal cultural heritage.
- Minimise the risks and costs associated with the disturbance of the contaminated land and public utility adjustments required.
Stakeholders participating in the value management workshop favoured two broad alignment options:
- A new bridge north of the existing bridge with Camp Access Road swapped to the eastern side of the highway, continuing underneath the new bridge.
- The preferred option.
The preferred option is considered to better meet the project objectives and represent better value for money.
Roads and Maritime will continue to consult with landowners and the community about the preferred option.