New South Wales, News, Road upgrades

Traffic changes ahead of harvest as $261.17 million Newell Highway upgrades continue

As the grain harvest season prepares to get into full swing and truck movements ramp up, changes will be put in place to help minimise disruptions while works progress on the $261.17 million Newell Highway upgrade.

Transport for NSW (TfNSW) is working with farmers, businesses and GrainCorp in the state’s north-west to limit the impact of the ongoing multi-million upgrade of the Newell Highway on this year’s grain harvest operations.

TfNSW says with this year’s harvest season moving into full swing from about October 9, a large number of truck movements are expected each day in and out of GrainCorp’s grain receival site at Bellata, where work continues on an upgrade of the highway between Narrabri and Moree.

Transport for NSW acting regional director west Damien Pfeiffer said it was important to work with stakeholders to ensure the impacts of the highway upgrade on grain trucks are minimised, including delays for drivers accessing the GrainCorp site.

“Once completed, the Newell Highway upgrade will deliver smoother, safer journeys for all road users on this key regional route but, as work continues, there will be some unavoidable inconveniences for motorists and harvest operators,” Pfeiffer said.

“Work at Bellata is progressing well with a new pavement upgrade of a 4.4 kilometre stretch of highway, and lead contractor Fulton Hogan and Transport have been working closely with local residents, farmers and businesses to ensure we manage traffic control and pedestrian traffic appropriately.”

As part of the work, alternative arrangements are in place to access the BP Service Station.

“These changes, which have been in place over the past few months, mean all heavy vehicles over 32.5 metres long accessing the BP directly from the Newell Highway must use the left/southern bowsers to prevent vehicles protruding into traffic lanes while they refuel,” Pfeiffer said.

“Variable Message Signs are already in place on the Newell Highway to inform drivers of these changes.

“Additional signage along the highway during the harvest season will remind drivers to be patient, slow down and take care on the road this harvest.”

TfNSW advises that harvest operators and other motorists should allow for delays of at least 15 minutes between Narrabri and Moree during the harvest peak.

“We urge all motorists to be patient, to drive to the conditions, follow the direction of signs, and to share the highway this harvest season,” Pfeiffer said.

“Over-size over-mass vehicles should alert the project team on 1800 741 636, option #3, or email ahead of their journey so that arrangements can be planned within the construction area to minimise delays.

“Drivers should continue to use the Tookey Creek Rest Area as a park-up area as the Woolabrar Rest Area remains closed until the rest of the year.”

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