There is still quite a long way to go before motorists will be able to skip the traffic lights and turmoil of the Princes Highway at Albion Park Rail.
Six years, in fact.
This week, the government announced a call for construction companies interested in building the roads and bridges that will make up the 9.8-kilometre bypass.
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That process closes on April 7 and then a shortlist of applicants will be chosen to submit tenders for the project.
A Roads and Maritime Services spokesman said this process will take “about 12 months” to complete, during which time planning approval should also be granted.
The spokesman also said this was the necessary groundwork required for shovels to hit the dirt in two years’ time.
“Roads and Maritime Services is continuing planning to ensure work starts on the Albion Park Rail bypass by 2019,” the spokesman said.
But there will still be a wait of six years before the region gets some relief from the ubiquitous heavy traffic that chokes up Albion Park Rail every Easter long weekend and summer holidays.
“The project is on track to be completed by 2023, weather permitting,” the Roads and Maritime Services spokesman said.
The bypass has been on the agenda for more than 20 years – in the mid-1990s the then Roads and Traffic Authority launched a study which identified a preferred route.
That route has largely remained unchanged through to today, with a corridor review in 2013 confirming it was the best route for the bypass.
When complete the bypass will offer two lanes in each direction – with space for more – and a 100km/h speed limit.