NSW Deputy Premier Troy Grant and Minister for Roads and Freight Duncan Gay today joined local MP Andrew Gee to announce a re-elected NSW Liberals & Nationals Government would invest a historic $56 million to upgrade the Mitchell Highway at Guanna Hill, 21 kilometres north of Orange.
Mr Grant said the Mitchell Highway is a vital transport and freight link for the communities and businesses of the Central West of NSW, notably between Dubbo and Sydney.
“It’s a crucial route for freight and livestock transporters, local commuters, tourism operators, caravanners and holiday makers. A large number of people also commute daily between Molong and Orange for work and recreational activities,” Mr Grant said.
“The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is getting on with the job of delivering for our regional communities by making it easier and safer to move around this special part of the State.
“This is fantastic news for the thousands of motorists on this road every week and also the jobs this major upgrade will create.”
Mr Gay said the 7.2 kilometre section at Guanna Hill undergoing this major upgrade has a high crash rate, limited overtaking opportunities, a number of tight curves and a rough road surface.
“This historic investment will straighten and widen the highway, seal shoulders, build extra overtaking lanes and install safe right turning bays at the Strathmore Lane and Guanna Hill Lane intersections,” Mr Gay said.
“For 16 years NSW Labor knew the Mitchell Highway at Guanna Hill was in need of an upgrade, and yet they never invested a cent towards construction for the entire time they were in Government,” Mr Gay said.
“Only the NSW Liberals & Nationals can be trusted to upgrade roads and freight corridors in regional NSW.”
Mr Gee said he was proud to be part of a Government delivering one of the most important upgrades in inland NSW and bringing the Mitchell Highway at Guanna Hill up to 100km/h.
“In 2011 the Minister and I met with a large section of the local farming community and they were angry that nothing had been done about this road for over a decade and wanted action.
“Our local farmers are sick of dragging motorists out of ditches on their tractors and I’m thrilled their day has come.
“I’m immensely proud the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is listening to our Central West communities and delivering what they need and deserve.”
Since March 2011, the NSW Government has spent around $2 million on surveying, design, environmental studies and geotechnical work, as well as purchasing land from nearby property owners, to get the project ‘shovel ready’.
The Liberals & Nationals have made a $56 million Rebuilding NSW funding allocation for the Guanna Hill realignment.