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The Albion Park Rail Bypass will have a stunning effect on travel times and serious car accidents, according to a government document.
This week, the NSW Government released the submissions and preferred infrastructure report in response to the 2015 display of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
A traffic and transport assessment calculated the ongoing effect on travel times that the bypass would have.
Expecting the bypass to be opened in 2021, the report predicted traffic flow along the 9.8-kilometre stretch of road in 20 years’ time – 2041.
The predicted travel time savings between Yallah Bay Road and the Oak Flats interchange, when compared to leaving the Albion Park Rail road network as is, is substantial.
“The project is likely to save at least 11 minutes 42 seconds northbound in the AM peak (a 64 per cent reduction) and 10 minutes 36 seconds southbound in the PM peak (a 61 per cent reduction),” the report stated.
By 2041, the time it will take to travel the 9.8-kilometre route northbound during the morning peak is predicted to be six minutes and 18 seconds.
The report tipped the southbound run in the evening peak to be slightly longer at six minutes and 24 seconds.
In terms of serious car accidents, the bypass could cut them by more than two-thirds.
In the five-year period from 2011 to 2016, there were 284 crashes along the Princes Highway between Yallah and Oak Flats – 148 were casualty crashes.
Forecasting five-year crash figures to 2041, the report suggested there would be 431 crashes without the bypass – 225 of them involving a casualty.
With the bypass in place the number of total crashes along the Princes Highway is predicted to drop by a whopping 67 per cent to 138.
Casualties would also plummet 68 per cent to 72.
The report also suggested the bypass would bring safety benefits for other roads that provide access to both Albion Park Rail and Albion Park.
“The project would also reduce future traffic volumes along Tongarra Road and East-West Link, which would result in additional road safety benefits,” the report stated.
“A significant proportion of the future through traffic from the Calderwood area travelling south would be diverted onto the motorway once the southbound entry ramp from Tongarra Road is opened, reducing the incidents of crashes on Tongarra Road and Princes Highway.”
Roads and Maritime Services is aiming to have the Albion Park Rail Bypass approved by the end of the year.
Construction on the long-awaited project is on track to start in early 2019.
This article first appeared on www.illawarramercury.com.au
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