Work on the two northbound overtaking lanes at Tap Hill, about 44 kilometres north of Gilgandra, started in June 2020 and will take about seven months to complete. Work is expected to finish in January 2021, weather permitting.
Transport for NSW has partnered with BMD and AECOM to form the Newell Highway Program Alliance.
The strategic partnership will deliver about 30 additional overtaking lanes in an estimated four years rather than the likely eight years it would take to fund and deliver this work using traditional procurement methods.
This innovative mode of delivery will result in a minimum of 45 kilometres of new overtaking lanes to improve safety, reduce travel times, allow more accurate travel planning and improve freight productivity.
The new overtaking lanes are expected to provide around 25 minutes of travel time savings along the length of the Newell Highway from the Victorian border to the Queensland border.
The northbound overtaking lane at the bottom of Tap Hill will be extended for about 1.4 kilometres along the highway, about 44 kilometres north of Gilgandra.
A new northbound overtaking lane will also be constructed to close the gap between the existing overtaking lanes at the top of Tap Hill.
Work will include establishing a site compound, stockpile site and fencing, installing erosion and sediment controls, site clearing, road widening and installing audible line markings known as rumble strips.
Once completed, road users travelling on the Newell Highway between Gilgandra and Coonabarabran will experience increased overtaking opportunities to help improve journey reliability.
Other benefits of the project include:
- improved safety for all road users
- reduced travel times
- more accurate travel planning
- improved freight efficiency.
For the safety of staff, contractors and communities, work will be carried out on a two-week rotating roster, to minimise travel for offsite workers and reduce the risk of exposure. This measure will ensure work on the active overtaking lane sites can continue during this unprecedented time, to help support regional economies.
Work days and hours are:
- Tuesday to Friday - 7am - 6pm
- Saturday and Sunday - 8am to 6pm
- Monday to Thursday - 7am to 6pm
- No work Friday to Monday
There will be some temporary traffic changes to ensure the work zone is safe. This will include reduced speed zones, lane widths and at times, lane closures.
During work, road users are encouraged to drive to the conditions and follow the direction of traffic control and all signs. Reduced speed limits will apply at all times throughout the project, and will vary from 40 km/h to 80 km/h.
The project team will keep the community regularly informed as the work progresses.
Thank you for your understanding while we complete this important work.