Design work to boost safety and improve traffic flow at Coonabarabran


The $1.7 billion major upgrade of the Newell Highway is surging ahead with design work starting on the Newell Highway intersection with the Oxley Highway which will improve safety and traffic flow, particularly for heavy vehicles.
NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway said the major road improvement project will achieve better freight efficiency, north-east of Coonabarabran.
“The Newell Highway is the freight backbone of NSW and this upgrade will improve travel efficiency for all road users. In particular, it will provide better access for heavy vehicles travelling between major rural routes and economic centres,” Mr Farraway said.
“This upgrade will deliver noticeable benefits for both the agriculture and mining industries in terms of travel time savings and reducing heavy vehicle trips and operating costs.
“The existing intersection is a T junction, with priority given to the Oxley Highway traffic over the Newell Highway traffic.
“Improving travel time and helping to reducing the risk of crashing at this location will be the aim of the design work.
“The NSW Government’s strong working relationship with the former Liberal National Federal Government has helped us to achieve a generational spend to majorly upgrade roads and transport in regional NSW.
“These are important pieces of infrastructure that are critical to improving daily life for our truckies and other motorists using our roads.” 
Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said the selection of a tenderer to lead the design process was an important step in realising improvements for this major Newell highway upgrade project.
“We are pleased to announce GHD has been successful in a competitive tender process to deliver the required design for this important work,” Mr Coulton said.
“This intersection is a key route within our freight network and this upgrade will improve safety and productivity for all road users.
“It’s critical that we have the road infrastructure to meet the demands of our agricultural industry to support the economic growth of our regions.”
The detailed design for the intersection upgrade is due to be finalised in late 2022 before a contract is awarded to carry out the work in late 2024. Construction is then due to start in early 2025, with the aim of the intersection being open to traffic by mid-2026.
The Australian Government has committed $32 million, with $8 million from the NSW Government to achieve the design and planning requirements for the intersection upgrade.
“Additional plans to upgrade the Newell Highway at Coonabarabran, including a bypass, are not being progressed at this stage,” Mr Farraway said.
“We will continue to work collaboratively to analyse traffic volumes to ensure we have the best treatments for the most efficient use of this important part of the NSW road network, to ensure the best outcomes for all road users.” 
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