Traffic switch delivers smoother ride for Bathurst 1000 fans

Thousands of motorsport fans descending on Mount Panorama for this year’s Bathurst 1000 will enjoy a smoother ride into town on the city’s eastern entry.

The Minns Labor Government is delivering a $73 million upgrade of the Great Western Highway between Kelso and Raglan for the benefit of local residents, tourists and freight operators travelling this key regional route.

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Jenny Aitchison, said while the project endured multiple delays due to extreme weather and crews diverted to emergency projects across the state, it was now on track to be completed in time for the busy Christmas holiday period.

“That Christmas deadline is fast approaching and we are committing extra resources to Kelso to Raglan to make sure we meet it,” Minister Aitchison said.

“We have brought in extra crews to support the local team and work is now progressing at a breakneck pace.

“The latest major milestone is a traffic switch onto two brand new lanes, delivering a smoother and safer journey along the full 3.5-kilometre upgrade area.”

Minister Aitchison said the traffic switch came into effect on Wednesday, just in time for the Bathurst 1000 carnival which will see thousands of race fans flock to Bathurst from October 5-8.

“Crews are now asphalting the westbound lanes on the original highway alignment,” Minister Aitchison said.

“Once that is done motorists will enjoy dual lanes in both directions west of Napoleon Street for the first time.”

All earthworks for the Kelso to Raglan upgrade have now been completed with the 60,000 tonnes of soil generated by the upgrade used on various government projects throughout the region.

The final steps of the upgrade include completing drainage work on the southern side of the project, completing the shared path and landscaping, constructing concrete medians and installing the new traffic lights at the intersection with PJ Moodie Memorial Drive.

Since the start crews have laid about 40,000 tonnes of asphalt and installed 1850 metres of concrete pipes and 49 stormwater pits.

“The Kelso to Raglan upgrade is an exciting project that will not only improve travel times for traffic coming in and out of Bathurst, but also beautify the area and improve liveability for local residents,” Minister Aitchison said.

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