The big question is, was the closure of Bulli Pass directly or indirectly responsible for the two truck accidents this week, and the other one in October?
And should the pass be closed again next year, as scheduled?
On Monday and then again on Tuesday, a semi trailer laden with soil rolled on Mt Ousley, just south of the Mt Pleasant turn off. The accidents happened in almost exactly the same spot about 24 hours apart.
Monday’s accident saw the out of control southbound trailer veer into the northbound lanes and collect another truck before tipping and spilling its load of soil onto the road. Fortunately, nobody sustained serious injures.
Tuesday’s accident saw the out of control southbound truck collect two cars. One woman was seriously injured awhile another six people suffered minor injuries. It could have been much worse. This truck was also carrying a load of soil, which was spilled over the roadway, making for a lengthy clean up.
In both instances, the RMS acted quickly and Bulli Pass was opened within the hour, however the closure of Mt Ousley saw traffic build rapidly on Lawrence Hargrave Drive, with motorists saying it took more than two hours to get from Helensburgh to Thirroul.
That accident happened early in the afternoon and traffic was still heavy through Thirroul at 7pm last night.
On October 7, another truck accident saw Mt Ousley closed, Bulli Pass opened, and motorists experience lengthy delays throughout the Northern Illawarra.
Thankfully, yesterday afternoon, or the day before, or on October 7, no emergency vehicles were required to get through Lawrence Hargrave Drive.
Keira MP Ryan Park has responded by writing a letter to Roads Minister Duncan Gay, expressing his concerns for the safety of motorists on our local roads, and calling on the Minister to review his plans to close the road again in 2017.
“It is imperative that the Government acknowledge the enormous problems that have been caused to date as a result of the extended closure of Bulli Pass and provide a more efficient, safe alternative.”
Mr Park said in a media conference yesterday he’d like the work to be done in the off-peak to alleviate pressure on the M1.
“I think people would like to see the work carry on for longer if they were able to utilise the Pass during morning and afternoon peaks,” he says.
A spokesman for the RMS says it’s too early to make a call on next year’s closure and that they are considering options.