New England Highway upgrade at Kootingal in sight

24 November 2020

Work to improve safety on the New England Highway at Kootingal will start early next year following recent community consultation.

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the community was invited to provide comment on the proposed safety improvements between Braefarm and Sandy roads during September and October.

“This upgrade to the New England Highway at Kootingal is about rebuilding and widening the road, and installing widened centre lines on the highway to increase the separation of vehicles,” Mr Toole said.

“More than 70 submissions were received during the feedback period, with the majority either supporting all or some of the proposal. The proposed safety improvements included closing intersections with the highway at Wilson, Gill and Privet streets to separate local traffic from through traffic on the highway, and restricting access to the highway from Laurel, Oak and Pine streets to left-out only.

“Transport for NSW also proposed improvements to the Dorothy Avenue/Betts Lane, Chelmsford Street, Yarrol Road and Sandy Road intersections.”

Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said changes were made after considering the feedback received from the community.

“We’ve listened to what locals have had to say, and amendments have been made to the proposal, including making Privet Street left-out only to be consistent with Laurel, Pine and Oak streets, and connecting Wilson and Gill streets via a short sealed service road rather than building cul-de-sacs,” Mr Anderson said.

“Also, the right-turn bay into Sandy Road will be offset to improve sight distance and the potential for street lighting at the intersection will be investigated in partnership with Tamworth Regional Council.”

Some tree removal works are required to reduce the risk of impact during a crash, improve sight lines at intersections and accommodate road widening. Safety barriers will also be installed to significantly reduce the number of trees that will need to be removed.

Transport for NSW will now finalise the project design, and will work with the community throughout the construction phase to minimise impacts where possible. Construction will start early in 2021, and the community will be kept updated as the project progresses.

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