Funding approved for Bolivia Hill Upgrade

25 August 2017

Another step has been taken in making the notorious Bolivia Hill stretch of the New England Highway safer, with the Australian Government signing off on its $55 million contribution to the upgrade project.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the investment was a great example of how the Australian Government’s record $75 billion investment in infrastructure was improving road safety and efficiency Australia-wide.

“The Bolivia Hill Upgrade is going to significantly improve road safety between Glen Innes and Tenterfield, building on other investments on the New England highway such as the $120 million Scone Bypass and the $3 million Armidale Airport Roundabout,” Mr Chester said.

Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Member for New England Barnaby Joyce said the Bolivia Hill section of the highway had a poor crash history because of its narrow lanes and road shoulders, as well as a rock face on one side of the highway and a steep rock valley on the other.

“This upgrade will save lives and boost productivity within the region—a win-win for all drivers, including heavy vehicles, as well as the area’s businesses alike,” Mr Joyce said.

New South Wales Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey said the upgrade would involve building 2.1 kilometres of new road, a new 320-metre-long bridge and widened lanes and shoulders.

“It will make life a lot easier for heavy vehicle operators, which will support local producers reliant on good transport links to get their goods to market in a competitive manner,” Mrs Pavey said.

Tenders for the contract to deliver the project will now be called, with work expected to start by early 2018 and to be completed in mid-2019, weather permitting.

The Australian Government has committed up to $55 million toward the $78.1 million project, in partnership with the New South Wales Government.

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