Moree Plains Shire Council General Manager Lester Rodgers, left, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall and Roads Minister Melinda Pavey announcing the fast-tracking of new overtaking lanes along the Newell Highway today.
LOCAL State MP Adam Marshall says the Newell Highway upgrade across Moree Plains Shire local government area will be completed four years ahead of schedule, bringing six new overtaking lanes, under an ambitious new plan from the NSW Government to deliver key roads projects better and faster.
And the state’s freight transport backbone becomes the testing ground for the bold new plan as part of the project to deliver the final 35 overtaking lanes along the Newell Highway.
Mr Marshall was in Moree today with Roads Minister Melinda Pavey on a site-seeing tour of the highway works.
The inspection comes as work continues on the $500 million Newell Highway upgrade, one of the big ticket works funded through the sale of the government’s ‘poles and wires’ leasing.
The works include heavy duty pavements, bypasses, realignment and road widening, bridge replacements, road pavement upgrades, overtaking lanes and flood drainage upgrades.
Mr Marshall said the Newell was the perfect testing ground for a plan that wants to fast track delivery of key projects from eight to four years.
So far, more than 17 overtaking lanes have been completed and six are slated in the Moree Shire section of the highway.
Minister Pavey said the plan aimed to improve safety, reduce travel times and improve freight productivity along the Newell Highway.
“The Newell Highway is the longest highway in NSW; it stretches over 1060 kilometres from the Victorian border to the Queensland border and it’s the economic backbone for freight and livestock transporters,” Minister Pavey said.
In March 2015 the government announced it would reserve $500 million for an upgrade of the Newell Highway including overtaking lanes, with an additional 35 overtaking lanes identified to be built between Tocumwal and Boggabilla.
Mr Marshall said overtaking lanes improved travel time and level of service for motorists by reducing driver frustration and unsafe behaviour.
“Many of these new overtaking lanes are in the north of the state, where there is a large volume of heavy vehicles using the highway to move freight between Queensland and Victoria and regional centres in western NSW,” Mr Marshall said.
Mr Marshall said industry representatives would be briefed next week on the new approach but the project showed how smart decisions around delivery made the most out of government investments.