Warren Sharpe is 'ecstatic' at $960 million highway promise

WARREN SHARPE: The planned Milton-Ulladulla bypass would be a god-send for the Eurobodalla, the Shire's infrastructure director says.
WARREN SHARPE: The planned Milton-Ulladulla bypass would be a god-send for the Eurobodalla, the Shire's infrastructure director says.

Eurobodalla Shire infrastructure director Warren Sharpe has welcomed the NSW Coalition's commitment to a $960 million upgrade to the Princes Highway if returned to government.

Mr Sharpe was "ecstatic" at the news and wants the Labor opposition to match the $960 million commitment. 

The Coalition has promised to duplicate sections of the highway between Jervis Bay Road and Sussex Inlet Road, build a new Moruya bridge and bypass, plan Milton and Ulladulla bypasses and upgrade the highway from Burrill Lake to Batemans Bay.

The long-term plan is to duplicate the highway between Nowra and the Victorian border over 20 years at an estimated cost of $15 billion. 

"The great thing is they've committed a lot of money to get the planning right," Mr Sharpe said.

"For too long governments have looked at short-term solutions. What we're seeing here is a commitment from this government to provide a long-term solution."

He said a Milton-Ulladulla bypass would be an "absolute god-send" and a Moruya bypass would exclude trucks and "allow a sense of place to be returned".

"We're really going to ask the federal government to step up to the plate, and we would like to see bipartisan support for that," he said.

Mr Sharpe believed a long-term plan was more essential than just fixing black spots.

"I'm sure they'll use existing sections of the existing highway as part of that plan," he said.

Warren Sharpe welcomes the Coalition's $960 million highway promise.

He said the $30 million link road investment would rectify half of the winding "mad mile" stretch, immediately south of Cranbrook Road, Batemans Bay, but the other half still needed fixing. 

He said the stretch south of Moruya where a crash occurred within 30 minutes of the funding announcement on March 6 was one of the sections that needed upgrading.

"Mass action treatments" were the most likely solutions Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) would offer, including vibrating lines, wider centres and wider sealed shoulders. 

He said extra signs, a guard rail and high-friction surfacing would make a safer highway and had improved accident rates on the Kings Highway.

Mr Sharpe said the RMS would need to address pedestrian safety issues at Mogo regardless of whether a bypass was added there.

"We would love for them to continue the planning and and obviously complete through to Mogo as a fairly high priority," he said.

He said before this announcement there were limited funds committed to regional roads and it was important to recognise their critical role in the Australian economy.

"We need the infrastructure to support this community," he said.