Contractor Fulton Hogan has begun work on a $261 million pavement upgrade that will widen and strengthen 27.3km of road along four priority sections between Narrabri and Moree.
Co-funded by the Australian and NSW Governments, the Newell Highway heavy duty pavement upgrade involves building entirely new sections of road as well as five new overtaking lanes, two new heavy vehicle rest areas, intersection upgrades and multiple new bridge-sized culverts for improved drainage.
Fulton Hogan has commenced along the first two sections, including an 8km stretch about 3km south of Moree, and a 4.5km stretch about 46km north of Narrabri, through Bellata.
The project forms part of the Australian and NSW governments’ $1.7 billion commitment to upgrading the longest highway with inland connections to both Victoria and Queensland.
Federal Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister, Catherine King, said the project would create new employment opportunities as well as benefiting motorists.
“The Australian Government is committed to delivering resilient and reliable transport, which is exactly what this upgrade is all about,” Ms King said.
“Good infrastructure investment creates jobs, builds opportunity and unlocks economic growth, and I look forward to seeing local communities and motorists using this stretch of the Newell Highway reap the benefits as construction gets underway.”
NSW Regional Transport and Roads Minister, Sam Farraway, said the highway upgrade is a major step for road safety.
“This upgrade will have significant benefits for motorists including reduced travel times, better access during and after wet weather and improved freight productivity,” Mr Farraway said.
“We are investing in what matters to our local community and making our network safer, to help make sure everyone out on our roads gets home safely – just one way we are securing a brighter future for NSW.”
NSW Member for Northern Tablelands, Adam Marshall, stated that the project would also provide valuable opportunities for Indigenous Australians.
“This is a legacy project, with 640 jobs supported throughout the construction phase,” Mr Marshall said.
“With a commitment of 12 per cent Indigenous employment, the technical skills delivered to employees as a result of Newell Highway upgrade will ensure the economic benefits from the project are felt in all areas of the community.”