13 February 2024

Could Bulli finally get a bypass? The NSW Government says 'maybe'

| Zoe Cartwright
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Could a bypass alleviate Bulli's traffic woes? Residents certainly think so.

Could a bypass alleviate Bulli’s traffic woes? Residents certainly think so. Photo: NSW Transport.

The Bulli bypass proposal is back on the table, after the NSW Government announced it would launch early investigations this year.

The government has allocated $20 million to undertake detailed planning and assessment work to identify how Memorial Drive could be improved and extended.

It anticipates a final business case will be prepared during this early planning phase; however, the Bulli bypass is not currently funded for construction.

A government spokesperson said that in 2021 the local community expressed strong support for a bypass, and it was the most commonly raised suggestion to improve traffic efficiency on the Princes Highway during consultation sessions.

The proposed Bulli bypass would involve extending Memorial Drive north from the roundabout at the intersection with the Princes Highway, with multiple options to be explored for where the extension would end.

The project to provide another direct connection between Wollongong’s northern suburbs and Memorial Drive was put on ice in 2016, when then-opposition MP Ryan Park said he was told by senior representatives from Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) the proposed route reconnecting Memorial Drive with Bulli Pass would be too difficult to build, due to topography and the high cost.

READ ALSO Bulli Urgent Care open seven days a week – MP Ryan Park expects more funds to flow

Although then-Liberal MP Gareth Ward knocked back the idea the project was too expensive, it never eventuated.

Illawarra and South Coast Minister Ryan Park called for the community to give their feedback on the Bulli bypass by participating in an online survey at Bulli bypass | Have Your Say (nsw.gov.au) or by emailing [email protected].

“I welcome the news of an early investigation of the Bulli bypass – it truly has the potential to be a game-changer for our region,” he said.

“The proposed changes to our roads impact everyone in our community. I invite everyone to take a moment to share your valuable thoughts and experiences with the road network in and around Bulli.

“Whether through the online survey or by email, your voice matters. Let’s work together to make a lasting impact on our region’s transportation future.”

The consultation period will remain open until 11:59 pm on Monday, 11 March.

The project team will be available to discuss the Bulli bypass at drop-in sessions on Thursday, 22 and 29 February, between 5 and 8 pm at the Bulli Community Centre.

READ ALSO Drop-in session on Dapto’s proposed M1 ramps attracts passionate community members

Roads Minister John Graham said the NSW Government was committed to addressing the community’s concerns about traffic flow in the northern Illawarra, but indicated locals shouldn’t expect a bypass any time soon.

“We listened and we heard the community loud and clear that this work was on top of the wish list when it comes to improving traffic flow on the Princes Highway in this area,” he said.

“While these early investigations will be robust and are crucial for planning a suitable bypass option, it’s important to note that they will require time to carry out.

“As we progress this work, there are other traffic improvements being made from mid-2024, including additional parking, new shared pathways, raised pedestrian crossings, and upgraded street lighting.

“Our focus remains on providing solutions that prioritise immediate improvements and the long-term success of the Bulli bypass project.”

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