NSW Deputy Premier Troy Grant and Minister for Roads and Freight Duncan Gay joined Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson to turn the first sod on the $32 million road over the rail bridge at Gunnedah.
Mr Grant said this was an important milestone and one the local community has been crying out for.
“The rail line separates the town centre and business district in the north of Gunnedah from the growing residential areas in the south,” Mr Grant said.
“Kevin Anderson has been a tireless local champion for his community and I’m pleased to be here with him and Minister Gay to mark the start of this project.
“The NSW Liberals & Nationals are focused on getting regional communities moving and building the infrastructure regional communities need and deserve.”
Mr Gay said early work would involve upgrading the intersection of Conadilly and Warrabungle Streets to install a new roundabout.
“As a first step, the utilities and water mains will be relocated as well as tree removal at the intersection and then work will begin on the roundabout,” Mr Gay said.
“The delivery of this overpass is yet another example of the Liberals & Nationals Government’s $210 million Bridges for the Bush initiative providing more efficient ways of moving freight around the state and better connecting communities.”
Mr Anderson said when complete, the second road over rail bridge would significantly improve traffic flow and support the town’s heavy vehicle route strategy.
“The Abbott Street Bridge was built in 1941 and simply cannot support freight trucks, while local traffic is frequently delayed at the New Street level crossing when coal trains pass through town,” Mr Anderson said.
“The second bridge will take freight trucks off local roads such as Bloomfield Street and Boundary Road to a new unrestricted route between the New England and Newell highways.
“Local intersections will also be upgraded to improve safety for pedestrians and motorists.
“Traffic flow will be improved with the upgrade of the View Street and Oxley Highway intersection, Barber Street and Warrabungle Street will be upgraded so road users can better access the business district.
“Early work will take about nine months to complete, during which Roads and Maritime Services will finalise the design for the bridge.”