Bolivia Hill - New England Highway
The Australian and NSW governments have committed funding for planning and building the proposed Bolivia Hill upgrade.
Review of environmental factors
To assess the potential environmental and social impacts of the proposed upgrade of the New England Highway at Bolivia Hill, Roads and Maritimes Services prepared a review of environmental factors (REF) and placed it on display for public comment 25 September 2015 to 26 October 2015.
The feedback received has been collated and responded to in a submissions report.
Roads and Maritime received 15 submissions, each of which was examined to understand and respond to the issues raised. The main issues related to:
- The strategy for existing roadside memorials
- The need for an overtaking lane
- Local traffic access
- Biodiversity protection
- Traffic delays during construction
- Heritage protection
- Project justification.
After considering the issues raised in the feedback from the public and government agencies, additional environmental safeguards have been included to manage and address comments raised in the submissions.
The Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) requested additional Aboriginal heritage surveys be carried out to confirm the previous studies for the project site. These were completed with the Local Aboriginal Land Council and project archaeologists. While the additional surveys confirmed previous findings, the project’s boundaries have been altered and buffer zones marginally increased as a precautionary measure.
The REF is now finalised and the project will proceed with the minor changes described above.
Roads and Maritime thanks everyone who reviewed the REF and provided feedback.
Further details about the next steps for the project are outlined in the April 2016 community update.
The preferred route for the upgrade of Bolivia Hill was confirmed in February 2014. You can view or download the Bolivia Hill Preferred Route Option Report.
The preferred route for the Bolivia Hill upgrade will:
- Improve road safety
- Improve road transport productivity, efficiency and reliability of travel
- Minimise the impact on the natural, cultural and built environment
- Provide value for money.
What happens next?
After considering the REF and submissions received Roads and Maritime has determined that the project will go ahead, with some additional environmental safeguards and an altered project boundary.
Detailed design has started for the project. Once this phase is complete Roads and Maritime will invite tenders for construction of the project.