Winter Driving – Road Changes

20 0706 driving snow
Drivers should drive with caution during winter as road conditions can change rapidly.

VISITORS will notice changes to the roads this winter with Transport for NSW funding $6 million for projects in the Snowy Mountains region.

With additional snow season traffic and increased heavy vehicle activity from the Snowy 2.0 project, sharing the road in the mountains has never been more important.

One of the main changes for snow traffic is the new roundabout intersection upgrade just north of Cooma at Polo Flat road and the Monaro Highway.

The upgrade will improve safety for motorists entering and exiting Polo Flat Road onto the Monaro Highway and will include permanent street lighting. With a new concrete segment factory being built for the Snowy 2.0 project at Polo Flat, the intersection will allow easier merging access for large trucks onto the busy Monaro Highway. Heavy vehicles will be more prominent from Cooma to Kiandra as part of the Snowy 2.0 project.

The approaches to the roundabout in both directions on the Monaro Highway include a ‘speed reducing chicane’ which has been designed to lower vehicle speeds before reaching the roundabout and reduce the potential for serious incidents and improve intersection safety.

“Transport for NSW have been working with Snowy Hydro to deliver a number of road upgrades to help improve safety and efficiency for all motorists ahead of an increase in heavy vehicles needed for the Snowy 2.0 project,” said a Transport for NSW spokesperson.

 

These upgrades are currently underway or have been completed to improve safety and allow safer movements of large machinery and heavy vehicles along highways and vital intersections.

Key upgrades to intersections on the Monaro Highway and Snowy Mountains Highway are:

  • Monaro Highway and Polo Flat road intersection roundabout:
  • Monaro Highway and Sales Yard Road intersection – wider shoulders and Vehicle Activated Sign: Completed awaiting Vehicle Activated Sign.
  • Snowy Mountains Highway and Kosciuszko Road intersection – wider shoulders and improved pavement: Completed.
  • Snowy Mountains Highway and Russell Lot intersection – wider shoulders, improved curves and additional left turning lane.
  • Snowy Mountains Highway and Tantangera Road intersection – wider shoulders, improved alignment, dedicated right turn lane. Completed awaiting Vehicle Activated Sign.
  • Snowy Mountains Highway and Link Road intersection – improved line marking. Completed awaiting Vehicle Activated Sign.
  • Snowy Mountains Highway and Marica Trail intersection – wider shoulders and improved road pavement.

 

Turn out lanes are short stretches of wider roadway or additional lanes to provide slow moving vehicles enough room to pull-over and allow queued vehicles to safely pass. Located on steep terrain where heavy vehicles travel at low speeds, their aim is to reduce the desire for motorists to risk carrying out dangerous overtaking manoeuvres.

Six turn out lanes are completed for the Snowy Mountains Highway at:

  • Connors Hill
  • Delaneys Creek
  • Eucumbene River
  • National Park Boundary
  • Sawyers Hill
  • Wambrook Hill

 

Drivers on the Snowy Mountains Highway will see additional roadside barriers, new turn out lanes plus increased truck activity for the Snowy 2.0 project.

Driving Tips for Winter

During any winter season roads should be treated with the utmost respect as weather conditions can affect road conditions at any time. Sections of roads and shady corners can become icy and roads can deteriorate after snow falls.

Drivers should always be on alert and drive to the conditions, especially in the higher alpine elevations.

The most common cause for winter accidents is vehicles travelling too fast in snow and icy situations.

  • Slow Down and drive to the conditions.
  • Ensure your vehicle has good tyres.
  • Snow Chains must be carried by 2WD vehicles on the Kosciuszko Road to Perisher. Chains are recommended to be carried on the Alpine Way to Thredbo, and Snowy Mountains Highway. (4WD and AWD vehicles do not require chains).
  • Fit snow chains where directed.
  • Leave space between the car in front of you to allow for braking.
  • Do not hit brakes suddenly, instead gently pump the brake pedal softly numerous times to slow vehicle and avoid any skidding on snowy roads.
  • Black Ice is a clear layer of ice that forms on the road usually in shady areas. Be cautious as these areas are hard to see.
  • When parking do not apply the handbrake, as it can freeze locked on. Leave car in gear and point wheel to inside of road.
  • Lift windscreen wipers when parked at resorts so they don’t freeze to windscreen.
  • Vehicles must have antifreeze down to -20 degrees. If unsure ask your mechanic to check.
  • Have a scraper to clear ice from your windows. Never drive with ice on windows or mirrors.
  • Warm your engine for several minutes before driving.
  • Diesel vehicles should use alpine mix diesel during winter to stop fuel freezing.

Be Truck Aware

Do not attempt to overtake oversize trucks.

It’s important to remember that trucks have less visibility, reduced mobility and are much heavier than most road users. They require longer sight distances to merge and overtake, as well as longer distances to accelerate, brake and come to a complete stop.

To find out more about Transport for NSW road improvements, click on the photo below.