The Kings Highway between Braidwood and Batemans Bay has reopened. It’s been permanently closed since 30 December, after being closed intermittently since the end of November when the North Black Range/Palerang fire first took hold.
The reopening of the most direct link between Canberra and the South Coast comes after crews worked around the clock to repair damage caused by devastating bushfires.
“Work to repair the 43-kilometre section of highway included the removal of around 1200 hazardous trees and the repair of 43 damaged guardrails and 500 ‘cats-eye’ reflector lights,” Member for Bega, and Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance said.
“The Kings Highway is an essential route in and out of the South Coast and our number one priority remains to ensure the safety of the community and all involved in the recovery efforts.”
Eurobodalla Mayor Liz Innes said the highway re-opening would be a major boost for the area.
“Bushfires have devastated our community and our landscape, and we’re hurting,” Cr Innes said.
“Part of our recovery is the return of visitors, and particularly our Canberra friends, to help local businesses get back on their feet.
“We are asking visitors to keep us in their thoughts as they plan to travel in the months ahead, and for those coming soon, please pack your kindness and your understanding that Eurobodalla might be a little different for a while.
“There’s still plenty to see and do, so give our visitor information centres a call to check local conditions.”
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said Transport NSW crews had been working hard to re-open bushfire-affected roads across the state and restore connections for impacted communities.
“Up to 70 workers a day have been on the ground to re-open the Kings Highway since the recovery effort began on Monday, 6 January, and today I am pleased to see it will be open to all road users weeks ahead of schedule,” Mr Toole said.
“The fires have caused substantial damage and loss to local communities including cutting off key transport routes like the Kings Highway which has been closed between Braidwood and North Batemans Bay.
“Re-opening these roads is critical to supporting recovery efforts and movement of supplies into the region – as well as supporting the return of visitors to the area.”
A number of fires are still burning on the South Coast and motorists should be prepared for conditions to change quickly.
Motorists are advised to check for the latest information and exact opening time of the highway on www.livetraffic.com, download the Live Traffic NSW app or call 132 701.
Road users are urged to follow the directions of emergency services and traffic crews. Transport for NSW thanks motorists for their patience while repair work was carried out.
Original Article published by Michael Weaver on The RiotACT.