Funding for the Parkes Bypass was confirmed as part of progress made at a recent meeting of the Newell Highway Taskforce Committee (NHTF). Councils along the 1,700km highway held a video conference for the quarterly NHTF meeting to hear from transport industry representatives and relevant government departments.
A spokesperson for the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications said the Newell Highway Upgrade Program provided $100 million for the Parkes Bypass. They also reported on the Federal Government’s $300 million commitment to the NSW Section of the Toowoomba to Seymour Corridor under the Australian Government’s Roads of Strategic Importance (ROSI) initiative. ROSI funding will target projects that provide better freight transport access to the Newell Highway, increase network connectivity, and support better safety outcomes for all road users.
Director Western Transport for NSW, Alistair Lunn provided an update on the construction of 30 overtaking lanes. “We [Transport NSW] have now completed eight overtaking lanes, including north-bound of the Parkes Radio Telescope and the Bundaburrah site.”
“We anticipate opening the Peak Hill north and southbound overtaking lanes by June 2020 – that will be 12 overtaking lanes open by the end of the financial year.”
Tenders have been closed for flood studies to occur between Forbes and West Wyalong. A detailed study of that area has been done and planning is now underway to engage with councils and landowners over the coming months.
Alistair also reported that the Parkes and Coonabarabran bypass planning continued, a truck stop was planned for Dubbo, and the new Forbes truck stop was nearing completion among other projects.
“It is positive to hear that progress continues to be made on a number of significant projects, despite the unprecedent times posed by COVID-19,” said Chair of the Newell Highway Taskforce Committee, Cr Ken Keith OAM.
He said the workforce was delighted that the state and federal governments had recognised the importance of the strategic freight corridor.