Member for Kiama Gareth Ward  joined with members of the Berry Forum and Rotary Club of Berry to officially announce the date for the community walk over the Berry Bridge – Sunday 18th June.

Mr Ward also announced that the Berry bypass is still on track for early completion with the community invited to join the opening celebration of this significant milestone.

“To help mark the occasion, a community walk has been planned for Sunday 18th June, giving the public an opportunity to walk along a three kilometre section of new highway, including the new bridge at Berry,” he said.

“The early completion of the Berry bypass will be the most significant achievement yet as part of this $580 million, 12.5 kilometre Princes Highway upgrade which is 100% funded by the NSW Liberal & Nationals Government.

“I have been amazed at the progress made on this terrific project since the first sod was turned back in January 2015.

“The Foxground bypass was completed before Easter and now we are on track to have the Berry bypass completed by mid this year, which is more than 12 months ahead of schedule.

“The main feature of the Berry bypass is the 610 metre bridge, allowing motorists to bypass the Berry township completely.

“The community has watched as this bridge has been built and it’s only fair they get a chance to walk across it before we see vehicles on it.

“This upgrade gives the people of Berry back their town and will also be a huge boost to improving road safety and travel times for motorists, and pedestrian safety within the town.

“When the entire upgrade is complete, motorists will save up to seven minutes in travel time through the elimination of steep climbs, sharp bends and the congestion through Berry.

“Not only will safety be improved, but new local parklands will be handed to the community as soon as possible.

“This includes the green space between the Highway and North Street and the new park near George Street,” he said.

“The noise mound next to North Street has been landscaped with Australian native plants to create a great backdrop for residents and the community.

“When complete, shared pathways will connect Camp Quality Park to the new park near George Street via the green space along North Street.

“These paths will improve access between North, Queen and George streets, Kangaroo Valley Road, Mark Radium Park and Victoria Street, linking Berry’s town centre and properties to the west.

Mr Ward said that more information on the community walk including times will be available before the event, which aims to be a real celebration.

“Organising a community event and celebration, and giving community members a first-hand look at the bypass before it is opened, is the least we could do to thank the public for its ongoing patience as this wonderful project has progressed.

“I have asked Berry Rotary to be present at the bridge walk and take up a gold coin donation towards their adventure playground project. I support the work of Berry Rotary towards this project and believe this event will present as a great opportunity to raise funds.

“I hope to see as many people at this event and I can’t wait to walk across the new bridge with them,” Mr Ward concluded.