Newell Highway overtaking lanes on a fast track

19 May 2020

A project to improve safety and boost freight efficiency by adding about 30 overtaking lanes along the state’s longest freight network, the Newell Highway, has hit the halfway point.

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said works on the 15th Newell Highway overtaking lane started this month near Chinamans Road, about six kilometres north of Tocumwal.

“After just 14 months, we’re now starting work on our 15th overtaking lane – halfway to our goal of 30 new overtaking lanes in four years. These new overtaking lanes will boost freight productivity and save road users about 25 minutes of travel time along the highway’s length,” Mr Toole said.“Since the launch of the program in March 2019, the NSW Government, together with the Newell Highway Program Alliance, has delivered eight overtaking lanes near Gilgandra, Dubbo, Parkes and Forbes, with more to open soon.

“Several new overtaking lanes at other locations along the Newell Highway are in construction, including the Fullers southbound overtaking lane, south of Finley, and the Bundure northbound and southbound overtaking lanes, north of Jerilderie.

“The Newell Highway is the economic backbone for the freight and livestock industry, residents, tourists and emergency services – and these lanes will improve the efficiency of trips.

“We are using local suppliers and contractors to work on our overtaking lanes, where locals have been given priority to tender for packages of work. Already, the program has employed 164 local people, and 60 local contractors and suppliers.”

Work on the new overtaking lane near Tocumwal started on Monday, with the project expected to be completed in about five months, weather permitting. Work will be carried out on a two-week rotating roster:

  • Week 1: Tuesday to Friday, between 7am and 6pm; Saturday and Sunday, between 8am and 6pm;
  • Week 2: Monday to Thursday, between 7am and 6pm, and no work Friday to Monday.

 Traffic control measures and partial road closures will be in place where necessary to keep workers and motorists safe.

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