Work to provide more overtaking opportunities on the Newell Highway has taken another leap forward with two lanes recently completed at Redbank and Coobang.
Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals Leader Michael McCormack said the NSW Nationals in the federal government were investing in new overtaking lanes on the Newell Highway to improve the safety and the efficiency of this key freight and tourism corridor.
“Road users on the Newell Highway are already experiencing improved safety and more efficient travel times with 17 new lanes now completed, including the northbound overtaking lane near Parkes and the southbound overtaking lane at Redbank, near Coonabarabran,” Mr McCormack said.
“We look forward to the remaining overtaking lanes being delivered, providing even greater freight productivity and safer and more enjoyable journeys on the Newell Highway.”
NSW Nationals Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the rollout of the overtaking lanes was being accelerated through a strategic partnership with industry.
“To date, we’ve added 25 kilometres of overtaking lanes on the Newell Highway, enabling more efficient freight transport and providing around 15 minutes in time-saving benefits to motorists,” Mr Toole said.
“By the end of 2021, we expect to have delivered 25 lanes as part of our commitment to build a safer, stronger road network in regional NSW.”
NSW Nationals Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said the Newell Highway works were helping save lives on the state’s busiest freight corridor.
“With these investments, we are playing a part in reducing the occurrence of fatigue-related crashes on the Newell Highway,” Mr Coulton said.
“Extending these overtaking lanes will make using them less hazardous, providing everyone with a safer and more reliable road network in regional NSW – one that will get motorists home sooner and safer to their families.
“It will also be a huge fillip for freight which will bring major benefits to the region.”
NSW Nationals Upper House MP Sam Farraway said this initiative was another example of the NSW Nationals in the state and federal governments working together to build productive infrastructure that the local community and economy need.
This commitment is reflected in a further $59.5 million package of safety improvement work to be rolled out at seven projects, starting at Dustys Creek and Redbank. Work involves widening the shoulders and centre line, as well as installing audio-tactile line marking on the edges and centre of the road.
These safety improvements along a one-kilometre section at Dustys Creek and a five-kilometre section at Redbank are also being delivered by the Newell Highway Program Alliance.
Work at Dustys Creek is expected to take three months to complete, weather permitting, with work at Redbank starting next month.
In the 2020–21 Budget, the NSW Nationals in the federal government announced $591.6 million in a joint $736.6 million investment with the NSW Nationals in the state government for infrastructure projects along the Newell Highway, including $60 million towards overtaking lanes.