Newell Highway Flood Mitigation - West Wyalong to Forbes


Project overview

Together, the Australian Government and the NSW Government have committed $250 million to provide flood mitigation on the Newell Highway between West Wyalong and Forbes.

Latest news

Jan 2023 – Additional funding for flood mitigation

The Australian Government will contribute $50 million to provide flood mitigation on the Newell Highway between West Wyalong and Forbes.

The new funding is in addition to the NSW Government’s existing $200 million commitment, bringing total project funding to $250 million.

View the media release for more information.

Jul 2022 - Investigation continues

Work has been ongoing to investigate and develop a number of potential options to improve flood immunity to several sections of the Newell Highway between West Wyalong and Forbes. A comprehensive flood study, which includes modelling of the Lachlan River and Lake Cowal, has been developed. This flood study will be used to help inform which options can be used in each location. Options that are being considered include improved drainage, raising of the road, culverts, bridges and pavement improvements.

Improving flood immunity on these sections of the Newell Highway is complex and it is important that the appropriate development work is carried out. Once we have completed this stage, we will be able to advise what option(s) are being progressed further and when we can start on the environmental approval process.

Sep 2021 - Project update

The preliminary environmental investigation is now complete and the project has now reached strategic and concept design stage. During the environmental investigations, work included reviewing existing flood studies and preliminary identification of flora and fauna species along the length of the project.

Read the full project update (PDF, 614.1 KB).

Project information


The Newell Highway is prone to flooding between West Wyalong and Forbes and has a history of road closures during periods of heavy rain in the Lachlan Catchment.

In September 2016 the West Wyalong to Forbes section of the highway was closed for 43 days and in total 20 kilometres of this section was flooded. From late October 2022, the highway was closed for 49 days due to flooding.

Transport for NSW is investigating potential flood mitigation solutions for the Newell Highway between Compton Road, West Wyalong and Hereford Street, Forbes. 

Key features of the proposal could include:

  • increasing the height of the highway to meet the project objectives
  • pavement, bridge, culvert and drainage improvements to allow water to pass freely under the highway
  • ancillary works including safety barriers, signage, line marking, landscaping and environmental protection works as required.


The primary objective of the project is to reduce the amount of time the Newell Highway is closed between West Wyalong and Forbes during and post flood events.

Next steps

The preliminary environmental investigation, initial flood modelling and strategic options are now complete. The next stage of the project is developing the strategic business case and then concept design.

The next steps will include extensive community consultation with nearby landholders and key stakeholders such as businesses and the freight industry.

Transport for NSW will continue to keep the community informed as the project progresses.

Project documents

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Project notifications


Media releases

  • 10 January 2023
    Boosting Newell Highway flood mitigation south of Forbes.
  • 10 August 2021

    Major step taken in Newell Highway flood immunity project.