Work begins to double length of overtaking lane on Newell Highway near Parkes

UNDERWAY: Parkes Mayor Ken Keith OAM, NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole, Transport for NSW Director Western Region Alistair Lunn, Alliance Program Manager Chris Brett and Alliance Interface Manager Andrew McLuckie inspected the site where the new overtaking lanes will be last October. Photo: Christine Little
UNDERWAY: Parkes Mayor Ken Keith OAM, NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole, Transport for NSW Director Western Region Alistair Lunn, Alliance Program Manager Chris Brett and Alliance Interface Manager Andrew McLuckie inspected the site where the new overtaking lanes will be last October. Photo: Christine Little

Doubling the length of a northbound overtaking lane on the Newell Highway about five kilometres north of Parkes has begun.

Work on the Coobang northbound overtaking lane, which includes rolling out variable speed limit (VSL) technology, started on Tuesday.

The 840-metre extension will more than double the existing northbound overtaking lane to about one-and-a-half kilometres.

Member of the Legislative Council Sam Farraway said it's all to improve travel times and make overtaking safer for motorists travelling out of Parkes.

"While work is underway, Transport for NSW will be using VSL signs, successfully trialled at the recent Peak Hill overtaking lane project," he said.

"This technology has the capability of changing speed zones instantly through a computer application, which minimises the amount of time needed for traffic control workers to manually change speed signs.

"It also provides motorists with improved visibility of lit-up signs in poor light conditions and wet weather."

The Newell Highway Program Alliance will carry out the work between 7am to 6pm on weekdays, and 8am to 6pm on weekends.

Work is expected to be completed in six months, weather permitting.

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the project was part of the NSW Government's $500 million commitment to improve safety, reduce travel times, increase overtaking opportunities and improve freight efficiency on the Newell Highway.

"We are committed to delivering about 30 additional overtaking lanes on the Newell Highway over four years, improving safety and saving road users about 25 minutes of travel time along the length of the highway," Mr Toole said.

"Since the launch of the program in March 2019, we have completed 12 overtaking lanes near Jerilderie, Finley, Forbes, Parkes, Dubbo, and Gilgandra with a further five overtaking lanes under construction.

"We know how important projects like these are to regional economies and we're encouraging local businesses to tender for work to help deliver them."

For more information visit nswroads.work/nhpa

Motorists are also advised of changed traffic conditions from this week on the Newell Highway, about four kilometres south of Peak Hill.

Traffic will be diverted onto the western side of the highway to carry out maintenance work, including line marking.

Work began on Thursday and will take place between 7am and 6pm on weekdays and 8am and 6pm on weekends, and is expected to be completed by Monday, weather permitting.

For the safety of workers and motorists - traffic control, lane closures and reduced speed limits between 40km/h and 60km/h will be in place during work hours and 60km/h outside work hours.

Motorists are advised to drive to the conditions and obey signs and traffic control.

Transport for NSW thanks road users for their patience during this time.

For the latest traffic updates people can download the Live Traffic NSW App, visit livetraffic.com or call 132 701.

ALSO MAKING NEWS:

What do you think?