Today’s commitment of $50 million toward the upgrade of Picton Road by the federal Labor party has been welcomed by the Illawarra Business Chamber, which has called on the federal coalition to match or better the funding before the May 18 election.
“The upgrade of Picton Road to a motorway standard is the number one road priority for the Illawarra’s economy, and today’s commitment from Labor must be matched by the coalition to ensure our region’s future growth,” said Adam Zarth, Executive Director of the Illawarra Business Chamber.
“As the main freight connection between the economies of the Illawarra and south-western Sydney, Picton Road requires nothing less than a complete upgrade to a four-lane separated motorway which would deliver a $42 million per year in economic benefits to our region.”
“This will require something in the order of $180 to $220 million, which would be achievable with a co-contribution from the NSW Government.”
“Without this, Picton Road will still be set to reach daily capacity by 2025, according to the research we conducted in tandem with the NRMA last year.”
“Some 20,800 vehicles use Picton Road per day, with 40 percent of this comprising heavy vehicles during peak periods. Overall usage is growing at eight percent each year.”
“The time is now for an ambitious upgrade to the road and for the state government to come to the table and work with the federal government towards a longer-term solution.”
“Infrastructure Australia have identified safety and capacity as priority issues for Picton Road and we have produced research that highlights how neglect of the road is a major economic constraint for the Illawarra.”
“We’ve assessed the Picton Road upgrade project has a benefit to cost ratio of between 1.8 and 2.6, with 1.0 being a ‘green light’ for projects of a similar nature to get across the line in the eyes of government,” said Mr Zarth.