Project background and objectives
The South Batemans Bay Link Road project would safely connect the recently completed Eurobodalla Shire Council upgrade of Glenella Road with the Princes Highway at Batemans Bay.
It includes a new intersection on the Princes Highway and an upgrade to the final section of Glenella Road (formerly part of The Ridge Road) to connect the two projects.
In early 2019, council completed the first stage of the project between George Bass Drive and Heron Road. This new road is called Glenella Road.
Transport for NSW is now planning for the second stage of the project to provide a safe connection between Glenella Road and the Princes Highway.
The NSW Government has committed $30 million for Transport for NSW to finalise planning and build stage two of the project.
This project would provide a safe and efficient connection for people to move between the coastal communities south of Batemans Bay and the Princes Highway.
The project also aims to:
- Improve safety and access to the coastal villages south of Batemans Bay
- Improve amenity and reduce congestion in the Batemans Bay CBD, Beach Road and Batehaven during peak times
- Facilitate land use development in the Batemans Bay CBD and southern coastal villages to support residential property and employment growth
- Increase freight productivity for heavy vehicles accessing the southern coastal villages and proposed Surf Beach employment lands.
In late 2019 Transport for NSW confirmed the preferred option for the proposal as a roundabout on the Princes Highway and an upgrade of Glenella Road between the highway and Heron Road. Since then Transport has been developing the design and environmental assessment for the proposal.
The Review of Environmental Factors (REF) and the concept design will be on display for community comment from Monday 27 April to Sunday 24 May.
The proposal includes a new roundabout on the Princes Highway at Glenella Road, an upgraded two lane road between the highway and Heron Road and an upgraded intersection between Glenella Road and The Ridge Road.
The new Princes Highway intersection would be relocated 150 metres to the north of the existing connection to allow for improved sight distances.
The key benefits of the proposal are to:
- improve travel times and connectivity to the southern coastal villages near Batemans Bay
- increase access and capacity to support growth in Batemans Bay and southern coastal villages
- improve access in emergencies
- improve safety and reduce the severity of crashes in this location
- improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists on Beach Road and in the Batemans Bay town centre
- enhance liveability and amenity of Batemans Bay, contribute to its attractiveness, sustainability and success
- provide a road network with increased capacity for future traffic growth
- improve access for business and freight for the southern coastal villages.
Changes on the Princes Highway include providing a new roundabout located about 150 metres to the north of the existing Glenella Road connection. This new location would improve visibility to the existing intersection. The 70km/h speed limit near Cranbrook Road would also be extended to the south by about one kilometre.
The new roundabout on the Princes Highway would include:
- two southbound lanes through the roundabout
- a single northbound right turn lane through the roundabout to Glenella Road
- a northbound bypass lane on the Princes Highway
- a single lane entry and exit to and from Glenella Road.
The northbound bypass lane would merge into the Princes Highway about 250 metres north of the roundabout.
The upgrade of Glenella Road would include:
- a sealed two-lane road (one lane in each direction) between the new roundabout on the Princes Highway and Heron Road
- a new T-intersection at the intersection of the existing The Ridge Road and Glenella Road.
The roundabout provides a bypass lane for motorists travelling north on the Princes Highway, allowing traffic to flow past without entering the roundabout.
For motorists travelling south on the highway, two lanes provide access to the roundabout. A single lane is available from Glenella Road to enter the roundabout and turn left or right onto the Princes Highway.
Vehicles turning right from Glenella Road (to travel north) would have a dedicated lane on the Princes Highway. The northbound bypass lane would be able to merge into the Princes Highway about 250 metres north of the roundabout.
Once complete, the proposal would improve road connections and access by providing an alternative route from the Princes Highway to the coastal villages south of Batemans Bay. This includes improvements in access during emergencies and emergency response times.
The proposal would also allow for future growth in the region by increasing the capacity of road network and easing congestion in the Batemans Bay CBD, particularly during peak holiday periods.
Safety would be improved on the Princes Highway through the reduction of the speed limit from 90 km/h to 70 km/h in this section. This would improve road safety, and reduce crash consequences, when compared to the existing situation.
The roundabout would provide safe entry and exit from Glenella Road. This improves safety by removing the existing intersection where right turning vehicles are required to look for gaps across two high speed traffic lanes to enter and exit Glenella Road.
Safety and amenity improvements would be achieved within the CBD through reduced presence of heavy vehicles and congestion. It would provide an opportunity to improve pedestrian and cyclist access.
Preferred option assessment
During the development of the project, four options were considered and assessed. Each option had a similar road upgrade to Glenella Road, with different intersection types including:
- a roundabout including a northbound bypass lane on the Princes Highway
- a seagull with vehicles turning right onto the highway from Glenella Road, crossing the two southbound lanes onto a protected northbound lane before merging
- a left in left out with a no right turn into or out of the Glenella Road allowed
- a channelised right turn with a dedicated northbound lane for vehicles turning right into Glenella Road from the Princes Highway.
The roundabout was considered the preferred option as it allows safe access to and from the Princes Highway, allows for all travel movements and has the lowest environmental and property impacts.
It is also relatively easier to build, requiring smaller retaining structures than the other options and would cause less disruption to highway traffic during construction.
More details about each of the options, the assessment criteria and methodology for identifying the preferred option can be found in the Preferred Option Report (PDF, 2.19Mb).
The project team identified a range of intersection options to connect Glenella Road with the Princes Highway. Early development work considered a highway realignment and several grade separated arrangements.
Due to the surrounding landscape and challenging topography, these options were not considered feasible. The project team focused on options that were cost effective in meeting the project objectives.
Environmental Assessment - Review of Environmental Factors
Transport for NSW has a statutory responsibility to consider the impacts of its activities on the environment.
To do this we carry out a number of environmental impact assessments and studies when planning transport infrastructure projects. This assessment is often documented in a review of environmental factors (REF).
The REF assesses the impacts of a proposal on the environment and outlines how these impacts would be eliminated, minimised, mitigated or offset both during and after construction.
The Batemans Bay area was affected by the Clyde Mountain fire during late 2019 and early 2020. It resulted in the temporary loss of dense bushland within the proposal’s construction boundary as well as loss of a number of residences and industrial complexes in the surrounding area.
While bushland vegetation is expected to regenerate, the timing of this regeneration will depend on factors such as past and future fire intensity and extent of canopy loss, presence of unburnt vegetation, existing seedbank, seasonal rainfall and favourable climate.
This REF considers the impacts of the Clyde Mountain bushfire in relation to the proposed construction timing and the impacts of the proposal on the long-term regeneration to pre-bushfire conditions.
Transport for NSW does not consider the proposal to have a significant impact on the environment. Although we have identified a number of impacts, these can be effectively mitigated through safeguards outlined in the REF.
The proposal would result in the removal of up to 22.68 hectares of native vegetation. While none of this is listed as threatened under state or commonwealth legislation, most of it is foraging habitat for threatened and non-threatened fauna and a portion is breeding habitat for the glossy black cockatoo and sooty owl.
This estimate assumes all vegetation within the construction boundary would be cleared or affected and is a worst case estimate. Efforts to reduce removal of vegetation have been carried out and would continue during detailed design and construction planning.
Impacts on water quality could occur during construction due to storm water run-off of eroded soil, sediments, fuels and other hazardous material spills. Highly erodible soils and steep slopes have been identified as the main risk for water management during construction.
Impacts once the proposal is complete could occur as a result of spills and leaks from vehicles, and increased storm water runoff from new road pavement.
State Environmental Planning Policy (Coastal Management) protected wetlands and Hanging Rock Creek wetlands are located about 500 metres from the proposed construction boundary.
Water quality management measures would be further investigated during detailed design to reduce and mitigate these impacts.
The heritage assessment included background research, field survey and consultation with the local community. Field investigations have identified two Aboriginal sites containing artefact scatters that would be located within the construction boundary. These sites have been assessed as having low archaeological significance.
Transport for NSW would apply for an Aboriginal Heritage Impact Permit for these sites, and artefacts recovered would be returned to country.
There are no formal footpaths or cycle lanes within the construction boundary, however any residents who recreationally walk or jog along Glenella Road would be temporarily affected by the road's closure. We are aware that the surrounding area is used recreationally and part of the Tinnie Track trail for mountain biking is located near Glenella Road. The overall experience for bushwalkers using trails near the construction site may be impacted during works. Access to mountain biking trails, such as the Tinnie Track, via Round Hill would be unavailable during construction.
Fencing and signage would be implemented to stop pedestrians, cyclists and trail users from entering the construction area for safety reasons.
Access to Round Hill lookout will be unavailable during some stages of construction, however would be reinstated following completion. All other recreational tracks would operate as normal following construction.
Transport for NSW expects minor delays to be experienced by motorists on the Princes Highway while the roundabout is being built.
This disruption would likely be associated with reduced speeds, temporary lane closures and minor increases in traffic volumes on the surrounding road network. The Princes Highway will retain one lane in each direction at all times to ensure through traffic will be largely unaffected.
The section of Glenella Road between Heron Road and the Princes Highway would be closed for the duration of the project.
Some residents located along Albatross Road, Gannet Place, Heron Road and Vista Avenue may experience some level of noise during the standard construction hours of:
- Monday to Friday: 7 am to 6 pm
- Saturday: 8 am to 1 pm
Once open to traffic, the proposal would result in an increase in noise for some residents due to an increase in traffic using Glenella Road, Heron Road and George Bass Drive.
Traffic modelling carried out for the proposal indicates for the ten years following completion of the project, Glenella Road would carry less than 2,500 vehicles per day.
A small number of properties may be eligible for at-property treatments to mitigate noise impacts and we will be in touch with the relevant property owners as the project progresses.
Transport for NSW is inviting feedback on the review of environmental factors and concept design until Sunday 24 May 2020.
To make a submission you can use our online feedback form, mail your comments to the South Batemans Bay Link Road Project Manager, PO Box 477 Wollongong NSW 2500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The community will also have the opportunity to ask questions of the project team through online question and answer session via Facebook Livestream. We will notify the community ahead of this event or you can follow the NSW Roads Facebook page for updates and event invites.
These documents are available to download on the project documents page. Hard copies are also available for review at:
- Transport for NSW, Level 4, 90 Crown Street, Wollongong
- Service NSW Batemans Bay, 341 Orient Street, Batemans Bay
- Service NSW Moruya, Unit 12/22 Ford Street, Moruya
If you are having trouble accessing these documents please contact the project team.