New South Wales, News, Road upgrades

Kamilaroi Highway upgrades progressing following delays

After delays due to floods and heavy rain, the $26.4 million upgrade of the Kamilaroi Highway between Baan Baa and Turrawan is now on track for completion by next year.

The 17 kilometre upgrade of the major highway in NSW’s north-west is being delivered in four sections. All major construction on Sections 1, 2 and 3 have now been completed, but the work schedule on the last remaining section has had to be revised.

Due to weather events, crews working on the project also had to be relocated to other emergency patching jobs across the state.

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Jenny Aitchison said shoulder widening in Section 4 will start in September and will be completed by mid-2024, weather permitting.

“We appreciate the patience motorists have shown throughout this safety upgrade ensuring a much improved and safer highway for all users,” she said.

Safety upgrades have included the installation of flexible barriers, wide centre lines to increase the distance between vehicles, and audio tactile line marking (rumble strips) and other safety devices to help prevent running off road and head-on crashes.

“Long distances are a fact of life in remote areas and these safety upgrades are focused on reducing the risk of fatigue-related crashes,” Aitchison said.

“Far too many lives are lost on country roads and we are committed to doing whatever we can to get more people home safely after their journey.”

Between July 2012 and October 2019, there were 18 crashes recorded along this stretch, resulting in four fatal crashes, seven serious injury and four moderate injury crashes.

Seven of these crashes involved vehicles crossing the centre line of the road; either running off road to the right or crashing head-on.

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.

As a result of an extensive community consultation process, a need for the inclusion of overtaking lanes to compensate for lack of overtaking opportunities was identified; with dual overtaking lanes incorporated into the final design.

Member for Barwon Roy Butler added, “This stretch of road sees a lot of heavy vehicles working on the mines, along with a lot of tourists and everyday traffic, any upgrade that improves safety is more than welcome.”

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