Final Oxley Highway section reopens after floods
13 July 2021
The Oxley Highway has re-opened today following extensive flood damage along a 33-kilometre stretch of highway between Mount Seaview Road and Gingers Creek Roadhouse, restoring access for local communities and businesses.
Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for disaster recovery John Barilaro said crews from Transport for NSW and Walcha Council have been working hard to re-open the final two-kilometre section.
“After the worst flood in a century which caused more than 70 landslips and closed the Oxley Highway in March, our number one priority has been to restore access and help affected communities get back on their feet as quickly as possible,” Mr Barilaro said.
“The Oxley Highway is a vital corridor for locals, tourists and freight operators, so to have the final section now open means access is restored between Wauchope and Walcha.”
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said restoring access had been a monumental task.
“Over the past three months, crews have moved more than 10,000 tonnes of material to clear the road, and also used drones to produce three-dimensional imagery to help determine how to rebuild the slopes in the safest possible way,” Mr Toole said.
“Crews will now shift their focus to getting the highway back to its pre-flood condition. This won’t be an easy job and those who use the Oxley will be seeing roadworks along this part of the highway for many months to come.”
Member for Oxley Melinda Pavey said opening this final section between Yarras and Gingers Creek would be a game changer for locals. Five sections along this length will be open to a single lane of traffic with alternating flow, controlled by traffic lights and with a 60km/h speed limit.
“Locals, farmers, freight and tourism were all severely affected by the highway’s closure, so I’m thrilled that traffic can once again travel safely along the road,” Mrs Pavey said.
“I’m sure the community joins me in thanking the crews for their hard work because it’s been under such challenging conditions, particularly where slips occurred below the roadway.”
Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said while access had already been restored for emergency vehicles, for those working to restore essential services to local residents, and for residents along some sections of the highway, opening up to all motorists was a huge win.
“Businesses in and around Walcha have really struggled with the loss of tourism dollar brought on by this road closure so it is extremely gratifying to see all this hard work to get the road open pay off,” Mr Anderson said.
“I’d like to thank the community for their ongoing patience and support they’ve shown while work to restore the highway has been underway, much of it by crews who are locals themselves.”
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