Braidwood businesses have welcomed the early completion of important safety work on the Kings Highway that had the potential to blow out until Christmas.
Tree removal work on the Kings Highway at Clyde Mountain started at the end of August, closing the important transport link for three days a week.
The closures were necessary to make the road safe for travel, with an arborist identifying about 400 trees that were unstable and needed to be removed after being burnt during the Black Summer bushfires and then weathering floods and storms.
But small businesses in Batemans Bay and Braidwood feared the work would be the final straw, after drought, flood, bushfires and COVID-19, with projections the work could run until Christmas.
However ideal weather conditions and the low traffic volumes due to COVID-19 regional lockdowns allowed Transport for NSW to revise its schedule and continue work through the school holidays to minimise the ongoing impact of the closure.
The work is now complete, almost eight weeks ahead of schedule, and the Kings Highway between Misty Mountain Road and River Forest Road is open to traffic with no further full closures during the day.
Braidwood and Villages Business Chamber secretary Nick Kemp said, after a rocky start, the Chamber was very happy with the way Transport for NSW had dealt with the issues surrounding the closure.
“We entered into mediation with them about six weeks ago and asked them to keep us informed,” he said. “We are really pleased with the way they have engaged with us.”
Mr Kemp said the early completion of work was a great relief for business owners.
“We are not going to see Canberra traffic for a while but we might see regional traffic … we expect it to slowly build until we reach a level of normality,” he said.
“It could have gone on until Christmas, now it’s not going to have any impact on travel from Canberra and feeder areas.”
Transport for NSW will now transition into slope stabilisation work on the Clyde Mountain as part of the next stage of the Natural Disaster Recovery program.
Slope work will consist of installing soil nails and shotcrete to stabilise the downslopes at four locations on Clyde Mountain, as well as rock-bolting of up slopes.
There will be changed traffic conditions during the slope stabilisation work however there will be no full road closure during the day.
“We will inform the community and motorists of any traffic changes prior to work starting in early November,” a spokesperson said.
Motorists are advised of changed traffic conditions until mid-November on the Princes Highway and Kings Highway in Batemans Bay.
Work on roundabout and median upgrades, asphalt resurfacing, line marking and landscaping will be carried out in various locations on the Princes Highway and Kings Highway, as part of the Batemans Bay Bridge replacement project.
Traffic changes including temporary lane closures and a reduced speed limit of 40 km/h, will be in place in both directions within the work zone for the safety of workers and motorists.
Work will be carried out until mid-November on weekdays between 7 am and 6 pm and Saturdays between 8 am and 1 pm.
For the safety of motorists, some traffic changes will remain outside of work hours.
Motorists are advised to drive to the conditions and follow the directions of signs and traffic control.
Pedestrians may also experience changes such as temporary surface changes, and detours, when crossing the road in this area and should follow directions of signs and traffic control at all times.