A NEW bridge that will replace the existing narrow crossing of the railway line in Lily Street, Allawah, will have one northbound lane and three southbound lanes.
Parliamentary Secretary for Transport and Roads Ray Williams unveiled the surprise design when announcing tenders had been called for the long-awaited project.
Mr Williams, accompanied by Liberal candidate for Kogarah Nick Aroney, said the design was based on traffic modelling and was supported by Hurstville and Kogarah councils.
He said the Lily Street bridge would be "completely replaced".
Construction would occur in stages, starting in the middle of this year, and was expected to be completed by the end of next year.
Mr Williams said the bridge was on a local road (Lily Street), which was under the care and control of Sydney Trains.
"The NSW government provided $13 million in funding to assist Sydney Trains and Kogarah and Hurstville councils provide a bridge four lanes wide to remove congestion and improve road safety," he said.
"The new bridge will include one north-bound lane and three southbound lanes, including one left-turning lane, one right-turning lane and one for through traffic.
"This is based on traffic modelling completed by Hurstville Council, which found the majority of congestion is created by south-bound traffic travelling into the city centre.
"Hurstville and Kogarah councils confirmed a preference for a three-lane bridge plus a turning lane."
Mr Williams said Sydney Trains and the two councils were developing a plan to manage traffic during construction.
The rail crossing was a focal point at the 2011 state election when then Coalition roads spokesman Andrew Stoner described it as "one of the worst bottlenecks" in St George.
In a bidding war between the parties, the Coalition promised $13 million for a new bridge with extra lanes.
Labor MP for Kogarah Cherie Burton has been critical of the time taken to start the work.
Allawah resident Valter Da Fonseca says a new bridge was ‘‘a must’’, but he feared traffic gridlock during construction.
Mr Da Fonseca said the crossing was used non-stop by big trucks, including many B-doubles from building sites in Hurstville.
‘‘You also have ambulances rushing to St George Hospital, fire engines and the normal traffic,’’ he said.
‘‘The traffic will be very hard to manage.’’
Are you pleased the bridge is being widened?