Based on multiple options assessment exercises a preferred option for the project was determined and put on display for community feedback between 19 February 2018 and 23 March 2018.
The preferred option includes:
- A new northbound four lane bridge
- Reconfiguration of the existing concrete bridge to carry southbound traffic
- Intersection upgrades at Illaroo Road, Bolong Road and Bridge Road
- New Pleasant Way T-intersection
- Keeping the old southbound bridge for pedestrians and cyclists.
Key benefits include:
- Improved safety, capacity and efficiency across the Shoalhaven River
- Improved freight movements and access to the South Coast
- Better traffic flow now and in the future
- Improved pedestrian connectivity
- Preserving the heritage of the old southbound bridge
More information on the preferred option can be found in the Nowra Bridge project preferred option report or in the Frequently Asked Questions.
Future of the old southbound bridge
The future of the old southbound bridge has been the subject of extensive investigation by both internal and external experts.
To reach a recommendation, various options were considered and assessed. The criteria used for assessment included the significance of the bridge, the expected benefits, estimated costs and community and stakeholder feedback and expectations.
We are proposing to keep the old southbound bridge for adaptive reuse such as a pedestrian and cyclist path based on the below key findings of multiple reviews:
- There are considerable heritage and social impacts associated with any option to remove the bridge (in whole or part)
- The bridge is operationally unsuitable to cater for future traffic demands and should be closed to vehicles once a new bridge crossing of the Shoalhaven River is open to traffic.
Due to constraints including high traffic volumes in the area, the process of identifying, developing and evaluating options for the new bridge and intersection upgrades was complex. Over 19 options for the project were initially identified, assessed and shortlisted into six main network options. These options were then tested and compared to each other considering:
- Traffic benefits
- Property impacts
- Environmental and heritage priorities
- Design and urban design potential
- Whole of life maintenance
- Value for money
- Key stakeholder feedback.
The preferred option is considered a balanced proposal which addresses the objectives of project. In addition, it takes into account long term planning for the Princes Highway and feedback from key stakeholders and the community.