MOTORISTS will be able to travel on the Bega Bypass from Wednesday.
Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) made the long-awaited announcement late Friday.
RMS will open both directions of the new section to traffic from 10am Wednesday, however, delays of up to 15 minutes may be experienced with traffic controllers in place around ongoing work.
The existing highway will remain closed south of Boundary Rd until November, weather permitting, for continuing building work for the new intersection and tie in at the southern end of the bypass.
The new intersections with both Newtown Rd and Finucane Lane aim to provide a dedicated lane for motorists turning right to improve safety and reduce the crash risk.
A spokesperson said RMS has worked closely with the community including local emergency services and transport operators to reduce impacts of road building work.
Electronic message signs are in place to advise motorists of the detour via the new roundabout at the northern end of the bypass.
Bypass work will not impact access to the cemetery intersection.
RMS will excavate an area up to two metres deep to build the Newtown Rd intersection, install drains, build the road surface and install signs, guardrail and new street lighting.
Work will also be carried out to widen the bypass across the existing highway near the intersection of Finucane Lane, with the road to be raised by up to a metre.
RMS thanked motorists for their patience while upgrade work is carried out.
The roundabout at the northern end of the project will be the only access to the highway south of Bega until work is completed.
Motorists are advised to plan their journey, allow extra travel time, and follow all signs.
The announcement of the bypass’s opening was not universally welcomed by readers.
On the BDN Facebook page, comments were divided between those who welcomed the opening after hearing about the proposed road for so long – “I can’t wait to see it with my own eyes” – to those worried it would “wreck the town” – “how many small businesses and local icons will close down because the tourists bypass it and head straight to Merimbula?”