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Wollongong City Council

Largest Council project – Karrara Bridge and link – open now

Tuesday 28 April 2020

The new Fairwater to Fowlers Road link with Karrara bridge
Image: The new Fairwater to Fowlers Road link with Karrara bridge - improving access during flood events and helping future growth in the Illawarra

It has been many years in the planning and from Tuesday 28 April Wollongong City Council’s largest infrastructure project – the new Karrara Bridge – a critical piece of infrastructure for West Dapto will be open for all community members.

This project, while still being finalised, is expected to cost $71 million.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the new bridge was a vital part of the Fairwater Drive to Fowlers Road link project.

“The Karrara Bridge now offers a new flood-reliable access link between Dapto and West Dapto and provides motorists, pedestrians and cyclists access to a four-lane road and shared pathway over the South Coast rail line and Mullet Creek,” Mr McCormack said.

“This is a great example of how the Australian Government’s investment in infrastructure nationwide is setting the foundations for economic recovery on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said Karrara Bridge provided the residents of West Dapto a new link between Fairwater Drive and Fowlers Road that would not only improve access during flooding events but also allow for future growth in the Illawarra.

“Thousands of people are expected to use the new bridge each day, improving commute times and reducing congestion on other roads,” Mr Buchholz said.

Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services and Member for Kiama Gareth Ward welcomed the spectacular Karrara Bridge, saying it will provide a vital new link for Illawarra’s road connectivity.

“Karrara Bridge provides the residents of West Dapto a new link between Fairwater Drive and Fowlers Road that will not only improve access during flooding events but also allow for future growth in the Illawarra,” he said.

“Thousands of people are expected to use the new bridge each day, improving local access to schools and facilities, reducing commuting times and reducing congestion and through traffic within the Dapto town centre.

“I congratulate Wollongong City Council on delivering this vital infrastructure project which has been supported with more than $25 million from the NSW Liberals and Nationals in Government.”

Wollongong City Council Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM said this road link provides vital access and helps connect Dapto Town Centre, the Princes Highway and the M1 Princes motorway with the growing West Dapto area.

“This major link project has been a desire of the community for many years,” Cr Bradbery said. “We’re pleased to deliver this major project on time and on budget. One of the things that makes me particularly happy is how community members and students from the local high school and primary schools also have been involved in its development.

“This complex project has been many years in the making and I appreciate the local community’s patience as we built this essential road link and bridge.

“This is a major piece in Council’s efforts to make West Dapto more flood resilient. It is part of the West Dapto access strategy which ultimately will be put in place to service this growing part of our City. As funds become available other pieces will be progressed so we invite the State Government to continue to work with us to deliver outcomes such as this.”

West Dapto is one of the largest urban land release areas in NSW and the delivery of this crucial road connection is a significant milestone.

The project was funded by:

  • $10 million from the Australian Government
  • $22.5 million from the NSW Government –Restart NSW Illawarra Infrastructure Fund
  • $3.229 million interest subsidy through the NSW Government – Office of Local Government’s Local Infrastructure Renewal Scheme
  • $600,000 Design Grant from NSW Government – Department of Planning and Infrastructure
  • and while project costs are still being finalised Council has provided about $37.9 million towards this project, largely through development contributions.

Funding bodies logos

The Fowlers Road to Fairwater Drive project including two bridges has been completed on time and on budget. The infrastructure project began in mid-2017. The project includes a:

  • Four lane road and shared path including earthworks, drainage, and pavement construction
  • 2 bridges (one over the flood channel and the Karrara Bridge over the South Coast Rail Line and Mullet Creek)
  • Marshall Street deviation
  • Upgrades to Princes Hwy/Fowlers Rd intersection including additional turning lanes and the signalisation of Fairwater Drives/Fowlers Road intersection at the western end
  • Service relocations including power, water, gas and communications
  • Landscaping

The new Karrara bridge at West Dapto

Interesting info on the road link:

  • 1.3 kilometres of four-lane road
  • 1.3 kilometres of shared pathway
  • Two bridges spanning a total of more than 230 metres
  • 210 bridge planks used in the construction
  • Around 20 “super t” bridge beams, each beam is approximately 20-30 metres long and weigh between 30 and 40 tonnes each
  • We expect 3.3 million motorists each year to use the new road link (about 9,000 vehicles per day)
  • The project has created 100 direct jobs and 500 indirect jobs