Transport for NSW is planning safety improvements on the Kings Highway on the northern approach to Braidwood.
The Kings Highway is a main route between Canberra and the south coast and carries a high volume of traffic particularly during summer holidays and weekends.
The current corridor of trees on both the northern and eastern approaches to Braidwood is located very close to travel lanes.
Transport is finalising planning for a safety upgrade to protect motorists from the hazards on the northern approach which includes:
- The installation of guardrail along the northern approach to Braidwood to protect motorists from roadside hazards.
- Planting of newly grown saplings in a corridor 6.5 metres off the roadside to preserve an avenue of trees in this location into the future
The eastern approach to Braidwood will be looked at as future funding and priorities are considered for the Kings Highway.
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.
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.
Transport has reviewed 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.
In 2013 Transport harvested cuttings from the existing Golden Poplar trees. The saplings have been growing steadily and are now at a height suitable for replanting.&p>
They will be planted 6.5 metres from the travel lane to ensure the safety of motorists while maintaining the historical and aesthetic value of the corridor into the future.
The window of opportunity for the tree planting is during autumn, so the planting is expected to be done in the next month.
Unfortunately due to the Covid-19 outbreak, we will not be holding community tree planting event. However we will provide video coverage of the tree planting on this website along with access to the frequently asked questions (PDF, 60Kb).
If you have any further questions on the upcoming planting please contact us.
As outlined iin the Tree Management Plan (PDF, 5.65Mb) developed with Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council, Council will be responsible for the ongoing, long-term maintenance of the trees after they have been established.
Roadside safety barrier will be installed on each side of the road on the northern approach to Braidwood to protect motorists from the current trees while the saplings grow and mature.
Advancements in roadside barrier technology have reduced the amount of deflection required behind the guardrail meaning the majority of the current trees can be safely protected by barrier without having to be removed.
This work is expected to be complete by the end of June 2020.
Reduction of 100Km/h speed limit on the Kings Highway
In March 2013 the 100km/h speed limit on the Kings Highway on both approaches to Braidwood was reduced to 80km/h.
Although there has been a reduction in the number and severity of crashes since the introduction of the 80km speed zone, the roadside hazards still pose a risk to motorists.
In 2012 Transport carried out audio tactile line marking (ATLM) between Deloraine Lane and 50m north of the entrance to the racecourse (about 900m) and on the eastern side of Braidwood. The ATLM makes a load noise when wheels cross it to alert motorists their vehicle has left the travel lane. The installation of ATLM here aims to reduce the occurrence of run-off-road crashes along this section of road.
Tree management plan - a guidance document for the long term management and maintenance for the avenue of trees along the Kings Highway
Transport 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.
The Tree Management Plan (PDF, 5.69Mb), adopted by Palerang Council in November 2013 will guide the safety upgrades in this location. 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.
For further information about this project contact:
Phone: (02) 4221 2736