Picton Road and M31 Hume Motorway - Picton Road upgrade
Transport for NSW is planning to upgrade Picton Road between the Nepean River and the M1 Princes Motorway, including the interchanges at the M31 Hume Motorway and the M1 Princes Motorway.
We heard the Picton Road and M31 Hume Motorway interchange was of particular concern, with access to and from the interchange considered a significant issue.
In response to feedback we developed a Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) as the preferred option for the interchange at Picton Road and the M31 Hume Motorway because it provided the least impact to the surrounding area while improving safety, reliability and efficient travel when compared to other options.
Watch an animation to see how a Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) could work.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
- What is a Diverging Diamond interchange?
A Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) allows two directions of traffic to temporarily cross to the left side of the road. It moves high volumes of traffic through an intersection without increasing the number of lanes and traffic lights. It is easy to navigate, eliminates last-minute lane changes, and provides better sight distance at turns. The design reduces congestion and moves high volumes of traffic without the need to increase the number of lanes in an interchange.
- Why is it innovative?
DDIs are a relatively new concept in Australia and the design innovation is that it allows free flowing turns when exiting and entering Picton Road with right-turning traffic does not have to give way to opposing traffic.
The Picton Road and M31 Hume Motorway DDI is the second to be proposed in NSW, with one currently proposed for Australia Avenue, Homebush and three DDIs now operational in Queensland.
Why is the DDI the preferred option for the interchange?
In response to feedback, we have developed a DDI as the preferred option for the interchange at Picton Road and the M31 Hume Motorway because it provided the least impact to the surrounding area while improving safety, reliability and efficient travel when compared to other options.
What other options were considered?
A technical assessment of the design, standards, and specifications of DDIs across Australia and around the world was carried out as part of the selection and design development process.
We assessed 13 different options for the interchange. Options included double roundabouts, grade separated roundabouts, a four-way signalised intersection with and without a bridge, grade separated ramps, loop interchanges and continuous interchanges with loops. We identified an intersection with traffic lights, configured as a DDI, was the best outcome when compared with other options.
How does it improve safety?
The DDI design would allow free flowing turns when exiting and entering Picton Road and reduce the number of conflicts with oncoming traffic, resulting in fewer traffic light phases, making the interchange safer and more efficient.
How can people leave feedback on this?
We are seeking feedback on the preferred option to help refine the design and prepare a Review of Environmental Factors (REF).
What will the feedback be used for?
Feedback on the preferred option will be used to help develop the project. Feedback will be responded to in a report following the display of the REF in 2023.
When is construction expected to start?
Timing and funding for construction of the interchange are yet to be confirmed.
What happens next?
A concept design will be developed, and further environmental studies will be carried out. The REF will be displayed in 2023.
Why was the project divided into sections?
We have divided the upgrade into three project areas to ensure we can focus on the areas you told us to prioritise while allowing us to continue concurrent planning for all sections.
Where is the western section of Picton Road?
The western section of the Picton Road upgrade extends from the Nepean River to Almond Street, Wilton and includes the Picton Road and M31 Hume Motorway interchange.
What are the other sections?
The central section begins at Almond Street, Wilton to around Mount Keira Road, and the eastern section runs from around Mount Keira Road to the M1 Princes Motorway interchange.
Why is this upgrade needed?
An upgrade of Picton Road would support growing communities and businesses across Western Sydney and the Illawarra-Shoalhaven by providing improved access to jobs, services, education and recreation between the neighbouring regions.
Our goal is to provide a reliable and safe road network to access high value employment and social amenities.
What options are you exploring for Picton Road?
We are exploring options for improved access, better separation between heavy and light vehicles, speed limit reviews and improvements to the road alignment and surface quality.
How much funding is allocated to this and where did the funding come from?
The NSW Government has allocated $44 million over four years for the planning of the upgrade of Picton Road and the Australian Government has committed $95.6 million to the planning of the upgrade of Picton Road and Picton bypass projects.
What community consultation have you done?
In April 2022 we released our Community Consultation Report based on feedback during consultation in late 2021. This included identifying current issues and concerns using and accessing Picton Road, as well as suggestions for the future upgrade.
What did you learn from that consultation?
Feedback helped us to develop options to reduce travel times, improve road safety and ensure the future design caters for expected future population and economic growth.
In general, the feedback was clear that the community want to see the upgrade happen as soon as possible and identified the need for this to happen before future population growth in Wilton further impacts the existing road network.
The top four most important considerations for the upgrade raised included:
- improved safety and access in general by providing dual lanes and median separation in both directions.
- improved safety at key access and congestion points onto Picton Road including Pembroke Parade, Almond Street, M1 Princes Motorway and M31 Hume Motorway (noting that there are some upgrades at key locations that would be upgraded as part of the surrounding urban redevelopment by the developer).
- better active and public transport connections between key centres to enable growth and access to employment, housing, educational and recreational opportunities in the surrounding regions
- protection and preservation of flora and fauna and cultural/heritage items
Why is the interchange being given priority over other sections?
Safety is the number one consideration as we progress the Picton Road upgrade.
Feedback told us Picton Road and the M31 Hume Motorway interchange was of particular concern, with access to and from the interchange considered a significant issue.
There are delays, congestion and frustration for those using the interchange contributing to less reliable and safe access to and from Picton Road. As traffic, development and population continue to grow, we must be able to accommodate more traffic through the interchange.
What consideration is being given to the high volume of freight operators using Picton Road?
Picton Road is the key freight link between Port Kembla and the Illawarra, with the emerging Western Sydney Parklands and Aerotropolis, as well as Canberra and Melbourne.
To meet future demand, the upgrade would be designed to improve safety for heavy vehicles. Heavy vehicles comprise almost 25 per cent of the 22,000 plus daily vehicle movements on Picton Road.
Freight customers and operators told us they want to see improved safety and efficiency, less congestion and interchange improvements at both the M1 Princes Motorway and M31 Hume Motorway, as well as improved rest area facilities.
The future development of the port at Port Kembla and the increasing importance of Western Sydney require direct, capable, and efficient connectivity between these two locations.
The growth of residential and commercial centres in Wilton and Greater Macarthur will only increase demand on transport corridors between the Illawarra and south-western Sydney.
How does this upgrade propose to meet increased demand due to population growth from nearby development?
Picton Road needs to cater for future growth associated with developments around the Wilton Growth Area.
The area surrounding the interchange will grow by 15,000 new homes (40,000 new residents) over the next 20-30 years.
New residents want to see the upgrade facilitate safer, more efficient transport connections for residents and communities to the broader Illawarra-Shoalhaven region for employment, education, and recreation purposes.
This upgrade is needed to ensure that predicted growth will utilise an improved road network in terms of safety, capacity and efficiency.
Does the community get to have a say on the preferred chosen option?
We are seeking feedback on the preferred option to help develop the project. Feedback will be responded to in a report following the display of the REF in 2023.
For further information about this project, please contact:
Phone: 1800 290 613
Mail: Picton Road upgrade, PO Box 477, Wollongong NSW 2521