Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Monday, May 07, 2012

Jamberoo Road unsafe when road subsidences not repaired,

Yesterday's Perigee Moon was "about 30% brighter and 14% bigger than the smallest Apogee Moon which will occur in October". (*Sydney Observatory Facebook Page) I would have to quibble with that note from the Sydney Observatory, because the Moon is not "bigger", simply closer to earth than in its other phases, and hence it simply appears "bigger".

I chanced to see this scene as I was returning from Albion Park to Robertson via Jamberoo. As I crossed over the top of the ridge between those two areas, near the "Jamberoo Action Park" the moon was just rising over the ocean. The peach colour is normal - because the moon (when at a low angle) is being seen through a thick layer of the atmosphere (it is not smoke discolouration).

I had to go via Jamberoo Mountain Road, because Macquarie Pass was closed (see below).

Airlift: The injured rider is taken away by paramedics
after the accident on Macquarie Pass.
Picture: DAVE TEASE (Illawarra Mercury)
While I sympathise with the injured rider, the reality is that Macquarie Pass is often closed (for trees down, or accidents). When it is closed (as it was yesterday), large volumes of traffic use Jamberoo Road.

There are two large subsidence patches along that road, which have been blocked off with simple barriers. The top one is between the Barren Grounds road and The Abbey. The second one is closer to the bottom of the Pass. On the top subsidence, there is a simple barrier and a sign saying "Oncoming traffic has right of way". 
This sign is very quaint, as clearly it is meant to be observed on an "honesty basis".
  • There is no automated Red/Green traffic light system.
  • There certainly was not a "Stop:Go" flag person.  
With heavy traffic flows, that is quite unsatisfactory. I have never seen as much traffic on that road, as yesterday. 
  1. The "Wings over Illawarra" Air Show at Albion Park was on. It was widely advertised, and the RTA (now renamed RMS, but not on its own Traffic Live website) was fully aware of this, and they had road closures and traffic controls in place.
  2. The Illawarra Highway was closed - so all the normal traffic flow on Illawarra Highway was being diverted from both ends (Albion Park, and the Robertson Pie Shop).
  3. There were large Horse Floats and other "over-size" vehicles using that road yesterday.
  4. I have never felt as unsafe on that road in ten years, as I did yesterday.
I understand why people would want to use that road, because at Albion Park, the Traffic Diversion sign recommended that the use the "alternative route via Picton Road" (a detour of 163 Km - instead of the normal route distance of 25 Kms). No wonder people were taking the other short-cut - via Jamberoo and the Jamberoo Mountain Road, and up to Robertson. But the truth is the Jamberoo Mountain Road is not suitable for heavy vehicles (there is an advisory sign at the top end, to that effect). 

I submit that Jamberoo Mountain Road, is in need of urgent structural repair

It is certainly not suitable for high traffic flows such as yesterday. And seeing as the special event at Albion Park was well advertised, and the RMS was in control of both sets of road closures (one planned, one an emergency closure) I am amazed that the penny did not drop with someone, to realise that Jamberoo Mountain Road (already damaged) would also need traffic control measures during this period of heavy traffic flows.

I understand that these subsidences have been there for quite some time, which prompts me to ask:  
  • When will Kiama Council repair this strategic road? 
  • And why was RMS not involved in providing traffic control measures on Jamberoo Mountain Road?
I will ask Gareth Ward MP the Member for Kiama, about these matters. 

Word of the Day: Syzygy: "A straight line configuration of three celestial bodies"


Christopher Taylor said...

Word of the Day: Syzygy: "A straight line configuration of three celestial bodies"

Also, the process by which two gregarines (unicellular parasitic organisms) adhere to each other for the purposes of reproduction, as can be seen in the third photo down here.

Greg Chapman said...

yeah since the Illawarra Fly was being built, our road on Jamberoo Mountain Road is heavily used.

Gee there was this plan decades ago, a proposed Mount Ousley Road-style 4-lane highway was on the drawing board. From Lees Rd to down to Yellow Rock (near Albion Park).

Would have been handy if the new highway was built these days.

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Christopher.
I was anticipating an erudite example of syzygy from archaic Greek poetry.
But your contribution does not disappoint.
You raised the tone very nicely.

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Greg.
Not sure the Lees Road people would agree, though.
But on days like yesterday, we could do with something better than a "goat track" (Jamberoo Mtn Rd) and a closed road (Mac Pass).

Flabmeister said...


When I lived in Tanzania one of the jokes in the expat community was that there is no word in kiswahili for "maintenance". Have you noticed people in the Kiama area saying "Jambo"? Or more likely "Hakuna matata" for "We don't have a problem."?

I'd have to disagree with Greg that putting in a 4 lane highway is a good solution. It would be very expensive, probably muck up some good environment and probably lead to problems elsewhere (eg by encouraging people to use that road clog up the main drag in Robbo).


Denis Wilson said...

Hi Martin
Thanks. You might have noticed I was reserved in my response to Greg's suggestion.
Certainly there is excellent protected habitat in the area that road would have to go through.
I think it is better to fix the road in an area which is already disturbed.
Kiama doesn't even think about Jamberoo Pass, as it leads out of their area.
They fail to see the same road leads INTO their commercial area of interest.