Funding for Princes Highway upgrade still up in air

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Kiama MP Matt Brown announced the new Princes Hwy route and access options for Berry and Gerringong yesterday at the Berry RTA. Picture: SYLVIA LIBERThe preferred route for the $800 million Princes Hwy upgrade between Gerringong and Bomaderry was announced yesterday, but questions remain over funding for the region’s most expensive road project.Kiama MP Matt Brown yesterday announced a modified northern bypass of Berry would be part of the preferred upgrade, although the route – covering a 4km section of the highway near Foxground – was still to be determined.Cost and environmental and geographic factors will dictate if 350m twin tunnels or a 300m cutting will be constructed.Mr Brown conceded it would be “a number of years” before cars were seen on any section of the new road. He said the NSW Government’s commitment was evident in the $8 million already spent on the project for planning, consultation and land acquisitions.As for funding to construct the new road, the community would have to wait until the upcoming mini-budget for forward estimates.”I will be lobbying hard for Federal and State government funding,” Mr Brown said.Yesterday’s announcement marked the next stage of planning to identify access points for the towns of Gerringong and Berry.At Gerringong, three options have been identified.The first involves closing Belinda and Fern streets and the construction of a major interchange just south of Sims Rd, linking with the intersection of Bridges and Rowlins roads.The second option is to upgrade the Belinda and Fern streets intersections with new bridges built over the highway, while a third option is a combination of intersection upgrades and a smaller interchange near Sims Rd.At Berry, several options for entering and exiting the town have been presented, including options for on and off ramps into Alexandra St.

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