Roads and Maritime Services is reviewing two sections of the highway on either side of Braidwood.
Roads and Maritime Services is reviewing two sections of the highway on either side of Braidwood. They are:
- 3.8km of road east of Monkittee Street, east of Braidwood
- 1.8km of road between Nerriga Road and Deloraine Lane, north of Braidwood.
A range of road safety hazards have been identified on these lengths of road. Roadside hazards in these areas include:
- Culverts (drains)
- Mona Creek, where it is close to the road.
Between 1 June 2004 and 31 May 2011, there were 17 crashes, including five fatal crashes, on the Kings Highway near Braidwood. The Nerriga Road to Deloraine Lane seven years crash analysis (JPG, 163Kb) and the MR51 Kings Highway - 4km east of Braidwood seven years crash analysis (JPG, 141Kb) show the location of crashes.
More than half of these crashes involved a collision into roadside objects. In all five fatal crashes a vehicle collided with a tree. Fatigue was a contributing factor in four of the crashes and inappropriate speed in one.
Thirteen of the 17 crashes involved vehicles approaching Braidwood from both sides of town. Drivers involved in the fatal crashes lived in nearby areas including ACT, Goulburn, Queanbeyan, Yass and Braidwood. Twelve of the total recorded crashes involved a single vehicle with the remaining five being rear-end type crashes.
The Kings Highway Route Safety Review identified that 28% of fatal crashes on the Kings Highway occurred immediately either side of Braidwood (in the five years between 2007 and 2011. Study area covered 117 kilometres from just south of Bungendore to immediately north of Batemans Bay).
While the number of crashes is not particularly high, the severity of the crashes was extreme. The National Road Safety Strategy 2011-2020 identifies that the chance of surviving a crash with a tree/pole decreases rapidly above an impact speed of 40km/h. Given the spacing of the trees and the distance from the edge of the road it is unlikely that a vehicle which leaves the road could slow to this speed before hitting a tree.
An online forum was launched in September 2011 to seek the community's feedback about roadside hazards on the Kings Highway. A discussion paper was prepared to provide background information for community consideration and comment.
Several public workshops were held to understand local issues, and to seek ideas on how to reduce the impact of similar crashes that may occur.
Roads and Maritime prepared a preliminary investigations report which can be found on the project documents page.
As part of the Kings Highway Route Safety Review (PDF), the Minister for Roads and Ports announced the 100km/h speed limit on the Kings Highway for the full length of both avenues of trees (2.8km east of the existing 50km/h zone and approximately 1.5km on the Canberra side of Braidwood) would be reduced to 80km/h. This has since been carried out.
How does the reduction of speed to 80km/h affect the Braidwood hazards project?
Whilst the speed limit has been lowered, the risk still remains, with any vehicle leaving the road likely to impact a large tree. At 80km/h the likelihood of death or serious injury is still extremely high. An option Roads and Maritime is investigating is the installation of safety barrier fence to prevent vehicles hitting these hazards.
Roads and Maritime carried out line marking between Deloraine Lane and 50m north of the entrance to the racecourse (about 900m) and on the eastern side of Braidwood. This line marking will help reduce the occurrence of run-off-road crashes along this section of road.
Strategy and investigation
Roads and Maritime Services has prepared a corridor strategy for the road transport system from Queanbeyan (ACT) boundary, to Batemans Bay on the NSW south coast.
The strategy addresses road safety, transport efficiency, asset maintenance and sets a 25 year framework for management of the corridor.
This project considers six of the short-term priorities identified in the corridor strategy.
The preliminary investigations report for roadside hazards on the Kings Highway at Braidwood is available. The report has been finalised in response to road safety concerns on the Kings Highway and considers the comments received from the community in 2011.
To view or download the Preliminary Investigations Report go to the project documents page.
An Issues Report for roadside hazards on the Kings Highway near Braidwood was finalised in November 2011.
Roads and Maritime compiled all of the responses received during the submission period through the online forum, community workshop, email, telephone and post.
The Issues Report is a summary of the community issues and suggestions on:
- The road safety problem
- History of tree plantings
- Organisations or community groups that should be involved.
A transcript of the online forum responses is also available.
To view or download the Issues Report or Online Forum Transcript, go to the project documents page.
Tree management plan
Tree management plan - a guidance document for the long term management and maintenance for the avenue of trees along the Kings Highway
Roads and Maritime Services is committed to maintaining an avenue of trees which mark the approaches to Braidwood, but there is a need to protect road users from these hazards.
Roads and Maritime has developed a Tree Management Plan (PDF, 5.69Mb) which was adopted by Palerang Council in November 2013. This Plan provides guidelines for the long term management and maintenance of the avenue of trees along the sections of the Kings Highway that form the northern and eastern approaches to Braidwood. In preparing this TMP, careful consideration was given to the results of a comprehensive study of the key issues relating to tree management and road safety. This plan includes technical recommendations for managing the existing avenue of trees as well as new plantings.
The plan recognises the existing trees are nearing the end of their life and proposes the planting of an avenue of new trees in a safer location in the near future, so that when existing trees die or are removed, the tree avenue vista remains.
The Plan has been developed in conjunction with Palerang Council who will deliver the outputs and own / administer the Tree Management Plan.
Development of short term road safety solutions to address the crash history on the Kings Highway at Braidwood is currently underway taking into consideration the feedback received from the community.
Roads and Maritime took cuttings from the existing Golden Poplars that line the northern approach of Kings Highway at Braidwood to grow should they be required for planting as part of the long term management of the avenue of trees.
For further information about this project contact:
Phone: (02) 4221 2553