Pilliga resident and active community member Margie Cruickshank has raised concerns about the condition of the Pilliga Road with Narrabri Shire Council.

“I would like to find out from council as to when they will be fixing the Pilliga to Wee Waa road,” said Mrs Cruickshank in a letter to NSC last week. The letter was also provided to the The Courier.

“At present there are five floodways, with another one getting worse everyday, that normal sedans are having major difficulties traversing to get to Wee Waa.

“It is getting to the point that people will need a 4WD to go to Wee Waa.

“It is much worse at night, the locals have a good idea of where to nudge their vehicles through the waterholes on the road but visitors have no idea and hit these holes regularly.

“This road has seen increased traffic following the sealing of the Bugilbone Road to Burren and the trucks coming up from Coonamble to go to Wee Waa, and on to Narrabri.

“This road is not now just for locals, and the grey nomads that come to the Pilliga hot bore baths.

“The last two years’ harvest have also seen an impact on the road with grain and cotton trucks taking their loads through to Wee Waa and beyond.

“The people of Pilliga deserve a better and safer road than what we have currently,” said Pilliga resident and active community member Margie Cruickshank in a letter to council about the condition of the road between Wee Waa and Pilliga.

“Not only do we have the local school that has a small bus to transport our children to events in Narrabri, but our older citizens in Pilliga need to get to medical services on this road that is becoming impassable.

“We also have service people that come to our elderly in their homes, that have to traverse this road with care. Can you please advise on what is going to happen to our road,” stated Mrs Cruickshank’s letter, dated Tuesday, June 14.

The Courier contacted NSC for comment and a response to Mrs Cruickshank’s letter.

“Flood events in 2020 and 2021 caused widespread damage across Narrabri Shire,” said mayor Ron Campbell.

“The Pilliga to Wee Waa Road is scheduled for upgrades as part of this flood recovery repair work.

“The Pilliga Road upgrade works involve reconstructing major floodways and large sections of road pavement on Pilliga Road that have been previously damaged by flooding events.

“The overall upgrade aims to mitigate a number of issues along a 21.2 kilometre stretch of the road.

“Council has successfully lobbied to have the Pilliga Road identified as a road of strategic importance; within the federal government Roads Of Strategic Importance (ROSI) program and the state government’s Fixing Country Roads program.

“The state government has signed off, unfortunately due to the federal election, we are still awaiting a sign off from the federal government for the funding.

“Council has lobbied hard to get this signed off and are hopeful that this will happen in the coming weeks.

“The planned upgrade works involve full rehabilitation of road pavement along with floodway and drainage work, road strengthening, edge break enhancements, line marking, guide posting and signage works.

“Due to ongoing wet weather in the area, it has been difficult to gain access to sections of the road, especially the causeways.

“Pilliga Road is a crucial arterial road for freight, tourism and residential access for Narrabri Shire and council understands the community frustration around this upgrade work whichhas been designed to withstand local traffic alongside larger freight movement into the future.

“Motorists are advised to exercise caution and patience when negotiating these flood-prone areas of the roadway.”

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