Newell Highway Flood Mitigation - West Wyalong to Forbes


Project overview

The Australian and NSW Governments have committed to flood mitigation works on the Newell Highway between West Wyalong and Forbes.

Latest news

Dec 2023 - Community update

For the latest news on the Newell Highway Flood Mitigation – West Wyalong to Forbes project including confirmed funding commitments, field investigations at Marsden and project next steps, view the December 2023 Community Update. (PDF, 1.45 MB)

Dec 2023 - Further biodiversity studies on the Newell Highway at Marsden from Monday 15 January

Further biodiversity studies including targeted threatened species surveys will be carried out to inform the design of the Newell Highway Flood Mitigation – West Wyalong to Forbes project. 

View the project notification letter (PDF, 338.38 KB)for more information.


Interactive portal

To learn more about the strategic options consultation for this project, visit our interactive portal.

Project information


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

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.

From late October 2022, the highway was closed for seven weeks when around 20 kilometres of this section was flooded. From September 2016, the highway was closed for six weeks due to flooding.

Comprehensive flood studies have found the Newell Highway between West Wyalong and Forbes is particularly susceptible to flooding by the Lake Cowal/Bland Creek catchment at Marsden.

Studies have also identified which causeways across the highway flooded first in 2022, stayed closed the longest, the depth of water at each and the susceptibility of the pavement to damage caused by the floodwaters.

On the basis of these studies, Transport is investigating around 11 kilometres of flood mitigation treatments at Marsden as this will significantly reduce the length of time the highway is closed during and after any future flood events.

Proposed treatments include installing box culverts (small bridges) to allow water to pass freely under the highway, raising the road level and laying a more robust pavement that would allow the road to remain open to traffic for longer during flood events.


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 after flood events.

Next steps

The next phase of the project involves the preparation of the concept design and the Review of Environmental Factors (REF).

Transport recognises that flood mitigation treatments can alter the local environment and we will be carefully considering all potential impacts of the project through our environmental assessment process. We will actively look at ways to reduce the impact of the upgrade on the community, stakeholders and the environment.

Once prepared, both the concept design and the REF will be displayed for public comment.

We will continue to keep the community informed as the project progresses.


Project documents

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If you are having trouble accessing information in these documents, please contact us.


Community notifications


Media releases

  • 20 June 2023
    Focus on Marsden for Newell Highway flood mitigation program.
  • 10 January 2023
    Boosting Newell Highway flood mitigation south of Forbes.
  • 10 August 2021

    Major step taken in Newell Highway flood immunity project.

  • 28 February 2019 
    Funding to flow for a flood-free Newell

Contact us

For further information about this project, please contact:

Phone: 1800 741 636 (during business hours)