Motorists keen to see works commence on the long-awaited reconstruction of Old South Road can expect to drive the refurbished road almost half a year earlier than planned following an overnight decision by Council.
Wingecarribee Shire Council last night approved a change to the construction schedule of Old South Road that will see the rehabilitation commence in January 2023 and fully re-open in November later that year.
Wingecarribee Shire Council’s Director Service and Project Delivery Karin Targa said the redesigned construction schedule would enable the road to re-open to full traffic five months earlier than originally anticipated.
“For too many years motorists have told us of their concerns about Old South Road,” Ms Targa said.
“Council has listened to these concerns and is committed to delivering a fully refurbished road, befitting of the Shire, as quickly as possible.”
Ms Targa said numerous factors led to the change of proposed construction methodology which had originally been planned to be carried out under traffic control and partial road closures.
“The construction duration, delay to road users, narrow width of the road and proximity of obstacles including power poles were all considered when reviewing our construction options,” she said.
“However, the safety of motorists, residents and our construction team were always our paramount concern and ultimately led to the decision to change how we manage this important reconstruction project.”
Ms Targa said traffic modelling suggested leaving the road partially open under traffic control would have added up to 30 minutes extra drive time.
“These inconveniences were clearly unacceptable and would have added an increased risk to our construction team,” she added. “We would have also had to constantly advise motorists of changes to traffic conditions.”
“We subsequently went back to the drawing board and decided to completely close the road, in two stages, to minimise long-term disruption and improve onsite safety. By doing this our crews will be able to safely complete the job much quicker than originally planned.”
“We understand Old South Road is a major thoroughfare and long overdue for an upgrade,” Ms Targa added.
“We are however confident that weather permitting we’ll be able to tackle this project much quicker and have the first stage, from Merrigang Street to Range Road, re-opened in April just four months after starting.”
Stage 2 of the project, from Range Road to Aylmerton Road, is expected to re-open to traffic in November 2023.
Ms Targa confirmed that access for local residents would be maintained throughout the project.
Works on the 9.7 kilometre road reconstruction will involve road pavement widening and rehabilitation, installation of guardrails, construction of stormwater pits and pipes and other associated works.
The contract to rehabilitate the road was awarded to Stefanutti Construction Pty Ltd in October 2022 at a cost of $11.56 million.
“This will be one of the largest and most complex civil construction undertakings Council has committed to in recent years,” Ms Targa confirmed.
“We thank both stakeholders for their assistance to date and all Highland motorists for their patience in advance.”
The Old South Road Rehabilitation Project is funded through a combination of Federal and State Government grants and Council contributions. Funding has been secured from the Safer Roads Program, Fixing Local Roads Program and Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program.
For further information on the Old South Road Rehabilitation Project visit www.wsc.nsw.gov.au/old-south-road.