Armidale Regional Council Mayor Simon Murray, left, Councillor Andrew Murat, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, Councillor Jon Galletly, Roads and Maritime Services Project Engineer Alex Labrosse and Business Support Manager Todd Heyman.
Monday, 19 August 2019
LARGE-SCALE road works aimed at improving safety on a busy and dangerous stretch of the New England Highway between Armidale and Uralla are now complete, with Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall officially opening the newly widened Saumarez Bridge last week.
Mr Marshall and Armidale Regional Council Mayor Simon Murray inspected the $850,000 bridge project on the border of the Armidale and Uralla local government areas, part of the $10 million upgrade of the highway to reduce the road toll on the New England Highway.
Mr Marshall said he is pleased the State Government had intervened to make the drive along the highway safer.
“It’s only 18 kilometres between Armidale Airport and Uralla but too often are emergency service personnel have been called to fatal accidents on that stretch of road,” Mr Marshall said.
“Saumarez Bridge has been widened by about 1.5 metres to allow increased separation between vehicles travelling in opposite directions.
“Its old-style concrete barrier has also been upgraded to a concrete and steel system to improve crash performance and reduced future maintenance costs.
“All that’s left to do is the final paving and asphalting which will be carried out in October, when the weather warms up.”
Mr Marshall said all up $8.2 million has been spent on the New England Highway south of Armidale as part of the NSW Government’s Saving Lives on Country Roads program.
“While it may have been an inconvenience for motorists while roadworks were taking place, what we have now is nearly three lanes of open highway which will improve both travel times and safety for drivers,” he said.
“Alongside the bridge two additional overtaking lanes have been added, one northbound and one southbound between Rocky River Road and Arding Road as well as the addition of a designated left hand turning lane for Barley Fields Road and right hand turning lane for Northeys Road and Kliendienst Road.
“One death is too many and I’m hopeful over time these upgrades will result in a reduction in the number of serious accidents which take place.”