New South Wales, News, Road upgrades

Notorious section of Kamilaroi Highway receives $34.6 million in safety upgrades

Safety upgrades have been completed on a 17-kilometre section of the Kamilaroi Highway, where speed and driver fatigue were identified as major hazards.

The $34.6 million project was started in December 2019, with works beginning on the Kamilaroi Highway in northwest NSW between Baan Baa and Turrawan, on the section of road between Narrabri and Gunnedah due to its crash history.

“Between July 2012 and October 2019 there were 18 crashes recorded in this area, including four fatal crashes, seven serious injury crashes and four moderate injury crashes,” said Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Jenny Aitchison.

“A high proportion of these crashes were the result of vehicles crossing the centre lines and safety improvements such as these can increase the distance between oncoming traffic and alert drivers when they leave their lane.

“Evidence shows that wire rope barriers can significantly reduce the risk of death and serious injury in crashes because they dissipate the energy of a crash away from people in cars, and because the rope deflects and contains the vehicle from hitting other objects, such as trees and other vehicles.”

The final safety barriers have been installed to provide protection for motorists leaving the road as well as wide centre lines, audio tactile line marking (rumble strips), widened clear zones and other safety measures to help prevent run-off road and head-on crashes and reduce their severity.

The work was funded by the NSW Government through the Safer Roads Program after a 2014 review by the Centre for Road Safety identified speeding and driver fatigue as the major hazards on this section of the highway.

Community consultation after the review identified the need for new overtaking lanes to provide safe passing opportunities for motorists stuck behind slower moving vehicles.

A pull-over bay was constructed for Over Size Over Mass (OSOM) vehicles about 7.5 kilometres north of Baan Baa.

Other safety measures incorporated into the project include:

  • Designated school bus stopping and turning bay near the Turrawan Road intersection • 2.5-metre wide sealed shoulders providing more room for vehicles
  • Widened roadside clear zones
  • Raised retroflective pavement markers
  • Flatter roadside batters (or slopes)

Independent Member for Barwon Roy Butler MP 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.

“I welcome any improvements to the road that make it safer and better to drive on.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend