19 May 2023

West Dapto roadworks to deliver Wongawilli's first traffic lights

| Jen White
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Work continues on West Dapto Rd

West Dapto Road will be upgraded from Shone Avenue, Horsley to Rainbird Drive, Kembla Grange. Construction began in 2022 and is expected to take several years to complete. Pictures: Wollongong City Council.

The once sleepy rural Wongawilli Road is about to get its first set of traffic lights, as part of the West Dapto upgrade works.

Wollongong City Council is planning the next stage of work in the area to help support the ever-expanding residential developments.

Over the next few decades, West Dapto will be home to almost 20,000 new homes and more than 50,000 residents.

Wollongong Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery said this planning and design stage could take time to come to fruition, as council worked with other agencies and stakeholders to ensure new links integrate into the existing road network.

“Running such a long-term project takes time, and that means a lot of the work we’re doing happens behind the scenes through seeking funding, planning, researching, designing and adjusting plans based on our community’s feedback,” Cr Bradbery said.

“At the end of the day, we want to get this right so that current and future West Dapto residents can access and enjoy their community. Naturally, some of these projects have and will take many years to develop and deliver.”

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The intersection of Shone Avenue, Wongawilli Road and West Dapto Road will be upgraded and traffic lights installed. The next upgrade for West Dapto Road will also include road, pavement and drainage works; improved access during flooding; a new shared pathway to connect pedestrians and cyclists from Wongawilli town centre to the planned Darkes town centre; a new pedestrian bridge adjacent to the existing road bridge and boom gates and flashing lights at the Shone Avenue rail crossing.

Bridge to farmland and residents in West Dapto

Karrara Bridge on Fowlers Rd, which opened in 2020, ensures flood-reliable access to the West Dapto community.

At the same time, planning work is underway for upgrades along West Dapto Road through to Rainbird Drive, with works extending through to Yard Street if budget allows.

In its latest West Dapto update, the council outlined how it was continuing to focus on road and infrastructure improvements in the area. Wongawilli Road and most of the initial phase of West Dapto Road upgrade works have been completed.

“There’s been a lot of preliminary and supporting infrastructure work completed to improve the West Dapto Road network,” Cr Bradbery said.

“So far council has completed the majority of the Wongawilli Road upgrades, including stormwater management, kerb and guttering, road widening and the construction of a new shared path on the northern side of the road.

“Most recently, council finished works on the stabilisation of basecourse materials at the western end of the road. Now we’re getting ready to do an asphalt seal, which is expected to be completed by the end of June 2023, pending favourable weather conditions.”

The first phase of works located at the western end of West Dapto Road are nearing completion, including widening the road, new line marking and signage, stormwater upgrade works, a shared path and the relocation of various services.

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The roadworks are part of a number of infrastructure projects which council is undertaking in the West Dapto area. The most high-profile of these was the Karrara Bridge, which opened in 2020. The bridge was the largest infrastructure project ever undertaken by council and helped to ensure flood-reliable access to the West Dapto community.

Earlier this month, council announced Stream Hill had been approved as the name of a new suburb between Kembla Grange and Wongawilli.

Stream Hill is the name of one of the oldest existing farmhouses in the Wollongong Local Government Area. It was awarded to Private Joseph Harris in 1832 as one of 10 land grants to military men post colonisation. Sandstone mined from the property was used to build the West Dapto Primary School and residence, as well as the McPhail residence on Sheaffes Rd.

Council recently developed a West Dapto-specific New Resident Info Pack which includes information about the suburbs, library and community centre, Dapto Heated Pool and local community and sporting groups.

For more information about the West Dapto projects, visit council’s West Dapto Projects webpage for up-to-date information.

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