Following a Route Safety Review of the Kamilaroi Highway, the NSW Government is funding $26.4 million to boost safety on a 17km stretch between Baan Baa and Turrawan under the Safer Roads Program. Between July 2012 and October 2019, there were 18 crashes recorded, resulting in four fatal crashes, seven serious injury and four moderate injury crashes. A high proportion of these crashes (7) involved vehicles crossing the centre line of the road; recorded as either run off road to the right, or head-on crashes. These alarming numbers triggered significant investment under the Saving Lives on Country Roads program to implement treatments that will reduce the incidence and severity of cross centreline crashes in this location.
The NSW Government has developed the Saving Lives on Country Roads program to help address the disproportionate number of fatalities on country roads by delivering a number of safety improvements for high risk country roads.
In 2014, Transport for NSW, in collaboration with Centre for Road Safety, completed a Route Safety Review of the Kamilaroi Highway. This review identified the need to review the road network infrastructure and enhance road user behaviour campaigns, especially those targeting driver behaviour, speeding and fatigue between Baan Baa and Turrawan.
The crash history for Baan Baa to Turrawan features a high incidence of cross centre line and run off road into an object crashes, so the NSW Government has funded this important safety project to increase the separation of oncoming vehicles, alert drivers when they leave a lane and provide a more forgiving road environment for when people make mistakes.
Safety treatment works recommended and approved for installation include lifesaving flexible barriers, wide centre lines, audio tactile line marking and other safety devices to help prevent run off road and head on crashes.
As a result of an extensive community consultation process, it was identified that there is a need for the inclusion of overtaking lanes to compensate for lack of overtaking opportunities. Dual overtaking lanes have now been incorporated into the final design and are planned for installation during section two.
Following consultation with the freight industry it was also noted that this section of the Kamilaroi Highway is a common thoroughfare for Over Size Over Mass (OSOM) vehicles. Because of this, we have incorporated a 2.5m sealed shoulder into the design to allow vehicles carrying wide and heavy loads to pull over which will be constructed as part of stage 2.
Other safety measures incorporated into the project include:
- wide centreline and flexible centre wire rope barrier to reduce the likelihood of head on crashes
- designated offline school bus turning bay near the Turrawan Road intersection to improve safety for school children and other travellers
- addition of dual overtaking lanes
- 2.5m wide sealed shoulder providing more room for vehicles to recover whilst remaining on a sealed surface
- rumble strips on centre and outside lines to reduce the likelihood of head on crashes and run off road crashes
- widened clear zone on roadside to improve visibility and reduce run off road into an object crashes
- raised retroflective pavement markers to improve delineation
Read more about the benefits of safety treatments at Towards Zero.
The Kamilaroi Highway Safety Upgrade will be carried out in 4 sections:
- Section 1 (stage 1): Upgrade of 4km stretch south east of Turrawan Road
- Section 2 (stage 3): Upgrade 3.52km stretch including construction of pull over bay for oversized vehicles
- Section 3 (stage 2): Upgrade of road including dual 1.8 kilometre overtaking lanes
- section 4 (stage 4): Upgrade of road south of the overtaking lanes in section 3 to Baan Baa
- Section 1: Completed September 2021.
Some modifications have been undertaken in response to community consultation including increasing the width of breaks between the centre barriers to assist with emergency response and access to properties. A designated offline school bus turning bay has also been constructed.
- Section 3: Completed March 2022.
Incorporation of overtaking lanes towards Baan Baa is complete with new 1.8km dual overtaking lanes to provide safe overtaking opportunities
Due to resourcing impacts from crews being diverted to heavy patching works for essential flood recovery across the state, the delivery schedule for the remaining sections of work has been reviewed.
The overall completion milestone for the entire project remains on track for completion by June 2023, weather permitting.
Current status of works
- Section 1 and 3 completed
- Section 2 in progress – culvert works are continuing in this section, then from August all crews will return to complete remaining works which will take approximately two months to complete, weather permitting.
- Section 4 in development – construction is expected to start in October 2022, weather permitting.
Early works including vegetation clearing will start from August and culvert construction from September 2022.
Transport will consult with affected landholders in Section 4 ahead of the work.
- Culvert works are continuing in Section 2, then all crews will return in August to complete remaining works by early October 2022.
- Continue the development of Section 4.
- Continue to keep the community and key stakeholders informed of progress.
June 2022 project notification
Revised project schedule for remaining work on the Kamilaroi Highway between Baan Baa and Turrawan
February 2022 project notification
Extended work hours for safety upgrades on the Kamilaroi Highway between Baan Baan and Turrawan from 21 February.
August 2021 project notification
Safety upgrades continue on the Kamilaroi Highway between Baan Baa and Turrawan from August 30.