227 MILLION REBUILD FUNDING TO FOR ARMIDALE TO KEMPSEY ROAD

227 MILLION REBUILD FUNDING TO FOR ARMIDALE TO KEMPSEY ROAD

Unprecedented funding announced today to rebuild the disaster plagued Armidale to Kempsey Road today, Armidale Regional Council Deputy Mayor Todd redwood, left, Mayor Sam Coupland, Regional Roads and Transport Minister Sam Farraway, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall and Council’s

 

Friday, 2 September 2022

 

NORTHERN Tablelands MP Adam Marshall and Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway joined Armidale Regional Council Mayor Sam Coupland today to announce $227 million in funding to fully restore and rebuild the disaster-plagued Armidale to Kempsey Road.

 

The funding will be used to reinstate the road to pre-disaster condition and will allow Armidale Regional Council to then expend an additional $12.6 million in State Government betterment funding to improve the most dangerous sections of the 46-kilometre stretch of road

 

Mr Marshall said a series of ongoing natural disasters, starting with the drought, then the 2019 bushfires, followed by a series of flooding and wet weather events, wreaked havoc on the road which was the major access between these two towns, as well as the coast and the inland.

 

“Residents in the Lower Creek area, travellers and even contractors engaged to repair damage, were left isolated and cut off as land slips, washouts and fallen timber repeatedly blocked the main access between Armidale and Kempsey,” Mr Marshall said.

 

“This funding will enable those disaster-impacted sections of the Armidale to Kempsey Road to be restored and hopefully increase the resilience of the road to withstand any future disasters.

 

“I acknowledge the damaged road has caused many frustrations and difficulties for the Lower Creek community and other residents further into the Kempsey Shire.

 

“I also commend the work done by Armidale Regional Council across the past few years in securing more than $12 million in funds to improve those sections of the road at Blackbird Flat, Flying Fox and Big Hill.

 

“The restoration of this important road will not be a quick fix to be rushed and is anticipated to be a multi-year project with an estimated completion of mid-2026.

 

“To put this investment today by the State Government in perspective, it’s more than 20-times council’s annual total roads budget for the entire region, just on one road and just on a 46-kilometre section of it. That’s how large and how important this project is.”

 

Mayor Sam Coupland said the Kempsey-Armidale Road was an important link between the Northern Tablelands and the coast.

 

“We have seen over the past couple of years how some of the west-east routes can be impacted by extreme conditions so it will be fantastic to have this road fully operational again,” Cr Coupland said.

 

“This will benefit not just the local community but those living up on the tablelands as well as tourists to what is a truly unique area in our region.”

 

The funding will be used to reinstate the road to its pre-disaster condition, increase resilience against future nature disasters through the structural stabilisation of slopes and stormwater replacement.

 

The rehabilitation of the road is a significant project in a challenging restricted environment with the initial design of the main recovery works now complete, the tender process is now underway.

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