$4.95 million in joint State and Commonwealth roads funding looks to improve stability of the natural disaster prone Kempsey Road, with Armidale Regional Council Mayor Ian Tiley, left, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall and General Manager James Roncon.
Wednesday, 7 April 2021
ARMIDALE Regional Council will undertake further urgent and critical improvement works on the natural disaster-prone Kempsey Road, with Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall today announcing $4.95 million in joint State and Commonwealth funding, through round two of the NSW Fixing Local Roads program.
Kempsey Road re-opened to the public this week, after emergency work was undertaken to address undermining between Georges Junction and Lower Creek, following the recent heavy rain.
Mr Marshall said last year’s bushfires, which destroyed vegetation and groundcover in the area, combined with continual heavy rainfall have meant Kempsey Road has been closed to traffic more often than not.
“Due to the steep terrain keeping Kempsey Road maintained and safe is a big job for council at the best of times, without landslips and washouts caused by wild weather,” Mr Marshall said.
“For the people of Lower Creek the constant road closures which have left them isolated from essential services and often without incomes has been beyond frustrating.
“Council will use these funds to alleviate some of these issues, conducting critical road improvements, including sealing, repairs and safety works west of Lower Creek community towards Black Bird Creek Bridge.
“Sealing of the road will increase accessibility to the area and contribute to an overall safer road surface along the economically important tourist and freight route.
“A Transport for NSW engineer is working with council to ensure all maintenance undertaken is of the highest standard.
“This grant is just a minor step towards the long-term remediation of Kempsey Road and I will continue to work with both ARC and the Commonwealth to ensure this route is improved to a level which is safe and reduces continual disruptions to local traffic.”
Armidale Regional Council Mayor Ian Tiley said the Fixing Local Roads Round 2 funding would allow for significant improvements to Kempsey Road.
“By sealing the section of road, productivity of the immediate area and the region as a whole will be boosted,” Cr Tiley said.
“The proposed work aims to minimise impact of frequent rock fall and erosion events that occur in the area, and improve and maintain stability of the road.
“Constant access will mean landholders, visitors and freight operators will be less likely to be subjected to extended road closures and dangerous conditions that currently persist on the road.
“Trying to prevent the number of road closures in the area will also provide stability to the agriculture sector and hopefully encourage its growth in what is an incredibly fertile part of the shire.”
Round 1 of the Fixing Local Roads Program saw $16,498,778 of joint funding allocated to 18 projects in the Northern Tablelands electorate, and Round 2 will see $16,354,311 allocated to 14 road projects.
All successful projects will be completed within two years to ensure local communities see the benefits as quickly as possible.