A major upgrade to 27 kilometres of the Newell Highway has now opened to traffic, months ahead of schedule.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the $203 million upgrade between Mungle Back Creek and Boggabilla in Northern New South Wales, near the Queensland border, would help ensure this freight corridor would meet existing and future needs.
“Upgrading the Newell Highway saves lives and gets people to where they need to go sooner and safer,” McCormack said.
“Opening traffic to this major upgrade months ahead of schedule is exactly what delivery looks like.
“This means road users have full access along the new section of road before the busy Christmas holiday travel period – a huge win for the freight industry, as well as for visitors and local communities.”
New South Wales Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the upgrade included new heavy-duty road, 3.5-metre-wide lanes, intersection improvements, widening of shoulders and two new overtaking lanes.
“We know how important the Newell Highway is as a freight corridor – and this upgrade will deliver yet another boost to efficiency and trip reliability for our truckies,” Toole said.
“It means more opportunities to safely pass slow moving traffic and more reliable trips for all motorists.”
The site will shut down on 18 December with final work to be carried out after the school holidays in the New Year, before the 110 km/h speed limit will be applied to the 27-kilometre section of road at the northern-most end of the Newell Highway.
A final seal will be applied to the road from February, along with some work to finalise property accesses along the project length and to install additional roadside drainage.
This final work will require reduced speed limits and lane closures closest to where work is being carried out before the entire project is due for completion by Easter next year.
The $122 million first stage of the upgrade opened in May 2020 and was jointly funded by the Australian and NSW governments. The Australian Government is fully funding the $81.1 million Stage 2 works under the Roads of Strategic Importance initiative.