Improvements to the Newell Highway at Grong Grong

Roads and Maritime Services has moved the Newell Highway west of Grong Grong to improve freight efficiency and road safety. The NSW Government has provided $17 million for the project, which will support the long term future and viability of the local area. Georgiou Group Pty Ltd was selected as the successful contractor for the project and started work on the site of the new alignment in December 2016. The project was completed on schedule in February 2018.

Updates and announcements

What will happen next?

GMC Environmental Consulting Pty Ltd, of Mullengandra, has started landscaping work along the upgrade of the Newell Highway at Grong Grong.

Work to landscape the 2.7 kilometre section of new road, which was part of the new $17 million two-lane upgrade to the west of Grong Grong, was officially launched on Friday 18 May with a special tree planting event attended by Member for Cootamundra, Steph Cooke MP.

Landscaping work is expected to be carried out until September this year to avoid planting trees during the hot summer months.

About 82 avenue trees will be planted at two intersections, as well as more than 6600 Australian native trees and shrubs. In addition, Roads and Maritime will also help plant 340 native plants and build gravel access tracks at the Grong Grong Earth Park.

Two business information signs will also be installed on the north and southbound approaches of the Newell Highway, about 5 kilometres from Grong Grong, as part of this contract.

The project

The project involves building a new two-lane 2.7km long section of highway with a 110km/h design speed to the west of Grong Grong. The new road will feature turning lanes at intersections to provide access into Grong Grong.

The project also includes maintenance work on the existing highway before the road is returned to Narrandera Shire Council, streetlighting, town improvements and a signposting scheme to attract passing traffic into the town.

Benefits

  • Improving road safety
  • Improving safety for pedestrians and cyclists
  • Reducing the cost of transporting goods on trucks
  • Reducing traffic noise in Grong Grong
  • Consistent travel speeds
  • Reducing travel time
  • Provision for growth in freight and other traffic that is forecast to occur over the next 20 years.

Environmental assessment

The proposed concept design and review of environmental factors were displayed for community comment in April and May 2015. Comments closed on Friday 15 May and five submissions were received.

A submissions report summarising the comments, responses, changes to the proposal and details of the environmental measures and safeguards has been published. View the Submissions Report.

The project received planning approval in September 2015.

See the project's Environmental Protection Licence.

Project background

The Newell Highway is an important road link for freight between Queensland and Victoria and regional centres in western NSW. About 600 heavy vehicles, 32 per cent of all traffic, travel the Newell Highway through Grong Grong daily.

This figure is predicted to increase by 77 per cent to 1060 trucks per day by 2031.

The majority of the Newell Highway has a posted speed limit of 110km/h. The highway in Grong Grong is reduced to 60km/h and has a 90 degree bend at the intersection with Junee and Berrembed streets. The advisory speed limit for the bend is 35km/h.

There have been several truck roll overs at this intersection. On average there is one crash each year with the majority involving heavy vehicles.

The current road design through Grong Grong reduces traffic efficiency and increases travel time, particularly for heavy vehicles. The highway needs upgrading to safely cater for heavy vehicles and to enable access for longer heavy vehicles, such as road trains, carrying larger loads.

The proposal would also improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists and include suitable signposting to encourage motorists to stop and rest in town.

Previous work on this project

During 2011 Roads and Maritime asked for community comment on four potential design options to move the Newell Highway to the outskirts of Grong Grong.

Road designs closer to town were investigated however these options either kept the speed limit at 60km/h, cut through areas of woodland or impacted existing homes.

Improvements to the intersection would likely encourage vehicles to travel faster, especially at night. This would not reduce heavy vehicle roll over crashes.

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