Welcoming an $875,000 grant from the State Government to undertake and much-needed upgrade of Howell Road, between Tingha and Copeton Dam, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, left, and Inverell Shire Mayor Paul Harmon.
Wednesday, 29 September 2021
AN 18-kilometre section of Howell Road, which connects Tingha with the eastern shores of Copeton Dam, will undergo significant safety improvements over the next 12 months, with Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall today announcing an $875,000 State Government Fixing Local Roads grant.
Mr Marshall said a large section of Howell Road was nearing the end of its useful life, with surface defects making it rough and dangerous to travel.
“Howell Road provides access to a daily school bus service, supports freight movements for grain and livestock and links Tingha to Copeton Dam,” Mr Marshall said.
“In order to bring the bitumen section back to an acceptable standard, work will be undertaken to trim roadside vegetation that is dropping limbs on the road and causing safety hazards.
“Currently broken culverts and poor drainage is trapping water on the surface of the road, causing crumbling of the surface. Drainage will be addressed so water can get away and cracks will be patched up.
“Finally, council staff will grade problematic shoulders to improve line of sight.
“For road users including school buses, farm freight and tourists, the project will result in a smoother, safer and more enjoyable ride.”
Inverell Shire Mayor Paul Harmon said the Howell Road project would save ratepayers $40,000 in annual maintenance expenses.
“Regular road maintenance on Howell Road has led to an increased cost for council,” Cr Harmon said.
“Each year, council assesses all rural roads to prioritise its work schedule. Howell Road services thousands of vehicle movements annually, with farm transport, a daily school bus services and visitors to the eastern side of Copeton Dam.
“This year’s wet weather has been very welcome, but has also thrown up some challenges for our maintenance teams who have been working to repair roads right across the local government area.
“Of course, this is a vital yet costly exercise for council, so this funding is very welcome and ensures we can fast track Howell Road’s rehabilitation.
“Work is expected to be completed by the end of 2022, with a large portion of the project to be undertaken by local contractors.”