New South Wales, News, Road upgrades

Mitchell Highway intersection to receive safety upgrades

The Mitchell Highway intersection with Pretty Plains Road, about 20 kilometres east of Orange, will be widened to provide a dedicated left turn lane into Pretty Plains Road.

Regional Transport and Road Jenny Aitchison said the Pretty Plains intersection was identified for an upgrade to address concerns about driver behaviour, including issues with west-bound motorists overtaking turning vehicles which put them directly in the path of east-bound vehicles turning right.

“By installing a dedicated turning lane for those vehicles travelling on the Mitchell Highway between Bathurst and Orange, we’re providing opportunity for motorists to slow down safely on approach while allowing other traffic to continue through the intersection, improving efficiency,” she said.

Work at Pretty Plains will start on Monday, May 20 and will be carried out between 7am and 6pm from Monday to Friday and 8am to 1pm on Saturdays. No work will occur on Sundays or public holidays.

A reduced speed limit of 40 km/h will be in place through the intersection, with a Stop/Slow condition in place. Some lane closures and night work may be necessary, both of which will be communicated as required. It’s anticipated this work will be completed mid-year, weather permitting.

Orange Duty MLC Stephen Lawrence said, “The highway between Bathurst to Orange sees around 10,000 traffic movements a day – including local residents, tourists and key freight operators so this work at Pretty Plains will greatly improve safety and traffic flow for these motorists.”

Once the lane construction is complete crews will conduct line-marking and then install flexible safety barriers on the side of the road to help protect vehicles which have left their lane.

Lawrence also said, “We are also currently in the final stages of development for the Vittoria West project, which will encompass the Mitchell Highway from the Beekeepers Inn to 1.8 kilometres west and will include a dedicated right hand turn lane at Gardiners Road as well as audio tactile line marking and safety barrier installation to further improve safety on the highway.

Aitchison added, “The Mitchell Highway is a key regional route linking the central west and western regions of the state to the Blue Mountains and Sydney and the section between Bathurst to Orange has a history of road crashes.

“In order to reduce road trauma, proven life-saving solutions are being installed at various locations between Bathurst and Orange for the benefit of all road users, including local residents, tourists and key freight operators.”

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