A Memorial Drive extension needed to be more than just “a thought bubble”, according to Wollongong City Councillor Leigh Colacino.
The much-talked about road project would see a link built between the present end of Memorial Drive and Bulli Pass just below the hairpin bend.
Speaking ahead of the recent council elections, Cr Colacino said he planned to lobby hard for the extension.
“I don’t want it to be a thought bubble, I want it to be actually realised,” Cr Colacino said.
“I’ve been talking about it for at least three to four years.
“I got sidetracked with the cruise ships, the Grand Pacific Walk and Bald Hill but there’s this thing going in with me that says ‘we have to do something about Bulli Pass’.”
There have been frequent calls to build an extension and the need for a solution for the rise in northern suburbs traffic following increased development along the Princes Highway.
With traffic often crawling along the Princes Highway through the Bulli CBD, Cr Colacino said businesses there were fearful the solution might not be a Memorial Drive extension but creating a 24-hour clearway along the highway.
“The shop owners in Bulli are extremely upset that people might not be able to park,” he said.
“There’s talk about making that a clearway. They’re not going to do that, that’s not going to happen but they’re living in fear that it is.
“So their confidence in their business for growth is minimal because they’re worried about the increased traffic flow along the highway.”
Cr Colacino said the Memorial Drive extension would benefit not only those business owners but any motorists travelling through the northern suburbs.
“This wouldn’t be built next year but, if the conversation isn’t driven enthusiastically and with confidence, it’s not going to happen,” he said.
“If we can achieve this, it will be brilliant.”
A Roads and Maritime Services spokeswoman did not specify that the body was considering a Memorial Drive extension.
However, it was focusing on the performance of the Princes Highway through Bulli.
“Roads and Maritime Services is investigating the safety and efficiency of the Princes Highway through Bulli to identify short, medium and long term priorities to improve the performance of the highway,” the spokeswoman said.
"This analysis will also help determine if major network improvements such as a bypass of Bulli or an extension of Memorial Drive will be required in the future.
“The community will be kept informed about any future work.”