An additional $43 million in Australian Government funding will go towards finishing the Bolivia Hill upgrade in NSW, following design and delivery challenges that were identified after construction commenced in 2018.
“With the increase in Australian Government funding secured, we can now get on with the job of making this stretch of road safer for all road users,” said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack.
NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole added that the NSW Government had also increased its funding commitment to the Bolivia Hill upgrade by $10.74 million.
“This takes the total NSW Government commitment from $25 million to nearly $36 million, building on our vision for a safer, stronger regional NSW,” Toole said.
Federal Member for New England Barnaby Joyce said the treatments to Bolivia Hill would significantly improve road safety between Glen Innes and Tenterfield, complementing other investments on the New England Highway such as the $700 million Singleton Bypass, the $137 million Scone Bypass and the $4.2 million Armidale Airport Roundabout.
“The existing highway has a poor crash history owing to narrow lanes and road shoulders, a rock face on one side of the highway and a steep rock valley on the other,” Joyce said.
“This has been a long term project not only for the north of the New England but for the whole New England Highway. I am so glad that after a long battle on your behalf we are delivering.”
According to State Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall, the project faced some challenges due to the steep terrain and bushfires in the area. “This upgrade will not only improve road safety and deliver more productive, efficient and reliable journeys, but also minimise the impact on the natural and cultural environment,” he said.
Since construction started in 2018, additional geotechnical investigations revealed suitable strength rock was below the design founding levels. This meant the original abutment foundation designs and configuration of the retaining wall needed to be re-designed to suit the site conditions.
The project is jointly funded with the Australian Government committing $97.96 million and the NSW Government $35.74 million.