More works get underway on $1.7bn Newell Highway Upgrade program

Monica Gameng   |   June 12, 2022
Newell Highway and Oxley Highway intersection (cr: Transport for NSW)

The $1.7 billion Newell Highway Upgrade program is moving forward as works are set to begin on new overtaking lanes as well as on the design for a new intersection. 

Construction on six new overtaking lanes at the first three sites along the Newell Highway between Coonabarabran and Narrabri is getting underway to help reduce travel times and improve safety on this section of the highway that is popular with grey nomads. 

“The three new sites had been selected to maximise safety, efficiency and value for money. All three sites will feature both northbound and southbound overtaking lanes, totalling about nine kilometres. 

“There are significant cost savings associated with being able to build pairs of overtaking lanes rather than individual overtaking lanes at different sites along the Newell Highway. 

“Additionally, working on pairs of overtaking lanes allows crews to establish just a single site compound instead of two, creates efficiencies in terms of geotechnical and environmental investigations and saves money in terms of construction time and traffic control set-up,” NSW Minister for Regional Roads and Transport Sam Farraway. 

The new overtaking lanes are being built as part of a program that will deliver up to 40 new overtaking lanes along the Newell Highway. 

The three sites at Pilliga where the new overtaking lanes will be constructed include Dandry, about 30 kilometres north of Coonabarabran; near the Pilliga Rest Area, about 65 kilometres north of Coonabarabran; and near the Sir William Bridges Rest Area, about 24 kilometres south of Narrabri. 

Construction will begin on 20 June 2022 and be completed in 2023, weather permitting. 

“This stretch of the highway is long and winding, and it can often be difficult to find a safe place to overtake if you’re stuck behind a truck or caravan. 

“As someone who regularly travels along this road, I know just what a difference these new overtaking lanes will make, ensuring journeys are smoother, safer and more efficient for all road users in this part of the state,” Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said. 

The delivery new overtaking lanes on the Newell Highway is jointly funded by the Australian and New South Wales Governments, each contributing $60 million and $168 million respectively. 

newell-highway-oxley-highway-intersection-upgrade-concept-design-mapNewell Highway and Oxley Highway intersection upgrade (source: Transport for NSW)

On the other hand, design works are commencing on the Newell Highway intersection with the Oxley Highway. 

This upgrade will not only improve safety on this section of the highway, but it will also help improve traffic flow and freight efficiency north-east of Coonabarabran. 

“The Newell Highway is the freight backbone of NSW and this upgrade will improve travel efficiency for all road users. In particular, it will provide better access for heavy vehicles travelling between major rural routes and economic centres. 

“This upgrade will deliver noticeable benefits for both the agriculture and mining industries in terms of travel time savings and reducing heavy vehicle trips and operating costs,” Minister Farraway said. 

In addition, a vital step in realising improvements for this project has been reached with a tenderer chosen to lead the design process. 

GHD has been appointed, following a competitive tender process, to deliver the required design for this upgrade. 

“This intersection is a key route within our freight network and this upgrade will improve safety and productivity for all road users. 

“It’s critical that we have the road infrastructure to meet the demands of our agricultural industry to support the economic growth of our regions,” Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said. 

Detailed design for the Newell Highway and Oxley Highway intersection upgrade is anticipated to be finalised in late 2022 before a construction contract is awarded. 

Major construction works on the project will begin in 2025 and be completed by mid-2026. 

The $40 million intersection upgrade is jointly funded by the Australian and State Governments, with the former contributing $38 million. 

“Additional plans to upgrade the Newell Highway at Coonabarabran, including a bypass, are not being progressed at this stage. 

“We will continue to work collaboratively to analyse traffic volumes to ensure we have the best treatments for the most efficient use of this important part of the NSW road network, to ensure the best outcomes for all road users,” Minister Farraway said. 

Source: Transport for NSW (1, 2, 3

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Monica Gameng
As Felix's Marketing Assistant since 2015, Monica is responsible for researching and sharing new and progressing projects within the construction and mining sectors in Australia. It's no surprise that Monica has her finger on the pulse of Australian major projects given she has produced more than 1,000 posts. She truly is an industry expert.
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