Picton Bypass has been given the green light.
Wollondilly MP Jai Rowell has secured $3 million to start the planning works for a major road connecting Picton Road to the Old Hume Highway.
Mr Rowell said this funding announcement was a “huge win” for the community.
“Traffic congestion will be reduced and heavy vehicles will be diverted from the main streets in Picton,” he said.
“It will make Picton safer.
“The bypass will also make it easier for drivers in Thirlmere and Tahmoor to get onto the highway.”
Mr Rowell said the money would “bring the project to life” and the road would be built in coming years.
“The Roads and Maritime Service will now investigate options for where the route will go,” he said.
“The route alignment should not impact landowners too much because the land is largely rural.
“Exactly where the road will go will need to be worked out.
“Community consultation will start this year.”
Mr Rowell said the money for the construction of the road would be announced after the technical work had been completed.
Picton already has a bypass in the form of Victoria Bridge but it has a height limit.
“The road will not take business out of Picton because people can already use Victoria Bridge to get onto the Hume Highway,” the Liberal MP said.
“The bypass will free up the main street to allow those who want to stop in Picton to find a parking spot more easily.
“Every three or four weeks a truck gets stuck on Victoria Bridge because it doesn’t fit under the height limit.
“Every year the government spends money on keeping Victoria Bridge open.
“Labor closed down the bridge and reopened it after there was community outrage and we have kept it open since.
“Now there will be a bypass with no height restriction.
“Also, if there is another storm or flood, there will be a proper alternate route for Picton.”
Mr Rowell has been lobbying for the bypass for years and ramped up his campaign in the weeks prior to the state budget being released.
“The money is now a funding commitment from the government,” he said.
Mr Rowell thanked former Wollondilly councillor Hilton Gibbs for his efforts in lobbying the state government to build a bypass.
The outgoing MP considers the bypass project to be his last big hurrah.