Port Stephens motorists travelling along Nelson Bay Road in the morning peak hour can expect up to 20-to-30-minute delays to at least mid-May when roadworks at the intersection of Lemon Tree Passage Road are scheduled to be completed.
Port Stephens Council is carrying out the work - involving an upgrade to the roundabout at Lemon Tree Passage Road and Oakvale Drive at Salt Ash - on behalf of Transport for NSW to improve road safety and reduce congestion on Nelson Bay Road.
A NSW Transport spokesperson said this week that changes were put in place last Thursday night to reduce traffic delays and queuing during the morning peak. "Delays were reduced on Friday and Monday as a result of these changes," the spokesperson said.
"Transport and council will continue to monitor traffic flows as the project progresses and will make any changes necessary to minimise delays to motorists. The project is scheduled to be completed in mid-May, weather permitting."
The majority of the works are being carried out 6pm-6am Sunday to Friday and on occasion between 6am-6pm Monday to Friday.
A Port Stephens Council spokesperson told the Examiner last week that traffic delays had increased from Wednesday morning as work progressed to the fourth stage of the project - the west-bound lane heading towards Williamtown.
"We did trial some increased traffic control measures for the Thursday morning peak, however these were not sufficient for the volume of traffic. It was agreed to adjust the location of the east-bound lanes of Nelson Bay Road slightly to allow us to reinstate the second (left-hand) west-bound lane," the spokesperson said.
The council spokesperson said that considerable planning had been undertaken ahead of the works and in advance of closing down travel lanes impacted by different stages of the project.
"The works are scheduled for completion by mid-May ... and we are aiming to keep the completion date as close as possible. There will be no construction during the two weeks of school holidays from April 9 to 27."
The works include: adding an additional left turn lane into Lemon Tree Passage Road from Nelson Bay Road, extending the eastbound merge lane on Nelson Bay Road, adjusting driveways and drainage on the eastern side of the roundabout to accommodate road widening for the extended lane, extending the two lane approach to the roundabout on Lemon Tree Passage Road, providing an additional westbound lane on Nelson Bay Road on approach to the roundabout, providing off-road cycle paths around the roundabout, road resurfacing and new line marking.