Aerial image of flooding between West Wyalong and Forbes in 2016.

Newell Highway Flood Immunity – West Wyalong to Forbes

The NSW Government has committed $200 million to provide flood immunity on various sections of the Newell Highway between West Wyalong and Forbes.

Latest news

SEP 2021

SEP 2021Project update

The preliminary environmental investigation is now complete and the project has now reached strategic and concept design stage. During the environmental investigations, work included reviewing existing flood studies and preliminary identification of flora and fauna species along the length of the project.

Project Information

The Newell Highway is prone to flooding between West Wyalong and Forbes and has a history of road closures during periods of heavy rain and flooding in the Lachlan Catchment.

In September 2016 the West Wyalong to Forbes section of the highway closed for 43 days and in total 20 kilometres of this section was flooded.  

Transport for NSW has started investigating potential flood immunity solutions for the Newell Highway between Compton Road, West Wyalong and Hereford Street, Forbes. The proposal is expected to be delivered in sections improving up to 20 kilometres of the 110 kilometre length between the two towns.

Key features of the proposal could include:

  • Increasing the height of the highway to meet the flood immunity objectives
  • Pavement, bridge and drainage improvements to allow water to pass freely under the highway
  • Ancillary works including safety barriers, signage, line marking, landscaping and environmental protection works as required

The primary objective of the proposal is to provide increased flood immunity along the Newell Highway between West Wyalong and Forbes by:

  • Achieving a minimum flood passable level of service for an equivalent 2016 flood event
  • Achieving a minimum flood immunity of 1 in 20 annual recurrence interval
  • Assessing options for flood immunity and flood passable for up to a 1 in 50 flood event.

* Flood immunity is defined as one lane - each way (both north and south bound lanes) dry and trafficable for all vehicles.

* Flood passable is defined as one way – one lane (~3m wide) over the crown of the road trafficable for all vehicles under traffic management.

The Preliminary Environmental Investigation is now complete and the next stage of the project is strategic and concept design.

This stage of design will include field and data collection, flood modelling and analysis, option selection, road design, estimating, further environmental assessment and extensive consultation with nearby landholders and key stakeholders.

Transport for NSW will continue to keep the community informed as the project progresses.

Project documents

Project updates

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September 2021 project update

Newell Highway Flood Immunity, West Wyalong to Forbes.



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Preliminary Environmental Investigation

Newell Highway - West Wyalong to Forbes Immunity Project Preliminary environmental investigation June 2021.


Media releases

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10 August 2021

Major step taken in Newell Highway flood immunity project



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