The Princes Highway links Sydney with the Illawarra, Shoalhaven and South Coast regions, carrying a mix of freight and passenger traffic for local, long-distance and tourism purposes. At Nowra, twin bridges currently provide connectivity across the Shoalhaven River.
The southbound bridge, constructed in 1881, requires significant spending to remain operational. The bridge also cannot carry over-height or higher mass limit freight vehicles, which reduces freight productivity.
Over 50,000 vehicles cross the river each day and the intersections on either side of the bridges are heavily congested during peak periods. As the volume of local and longer-distance trips grows, travel times and vehicle operating costs for users will continue to increase, and road safety will continue to worsen.
The initiative involves improving the crossing capacity of the Princes Highway across the Shoalhaven River at Nowra. This could be achieved by upgrading or replacing the existing bridges, or by considering alternative routes.
Proponent to identify initiatives and develop options (Stage 2 of Infrastructure Australia’s Assessment Framework).