Preparations are advanced for the start of the biggest-ever heavy duty pavement upgrade of the Newell Highway between Narrabri and Moree.

Stage one of the $261.17 million project includes upgrade of four priority sections along the Newell with 27.3 kilometres of new road pavement, intersection improvements, widening of road shoulders and five additional overtaking lanes.

Construction is set to start in mid July and be completed in early 2026.

The project forms a major part of the joint Australian and NSW government $1.7 billion commitment to upgrading the Newell Highway – the longest highway which has inland connections to both Victoria and Queensland Transport for NSW and lead contractor for the big project, Fulton Hogan Pty. Ltd., recently hosted an information event in Narrabri for individuals and businesses
who want to be part of the project and learn about supplier and work opportunities.

The Newell Highway upgrade will see approximately 640 jobs supported during the construction process. Fulton Hogan will directly employ around 140 people.

The Australian government has committed $205.7 million towards the jointly funded $261.17 million upgrade, with the NSW government contributing the remainder.

“The project will improve connectivity for all road users, particularly freight operators and significant benefits to motorists travelling inland between Queensland and Victoria,” the government said.

NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway said the work would focus on building the new sections of road, as well as five new overtaking lanes, two new heavy vehicle rest areas, intersection upgrades and multiple new bridge-sized culverts, including at Clarks Gully.

“The project will reduce travel times, improve freight productivity and improve access along the Newell Highway, as well as to the Northern NSW Inland Port at Narrabri and the Moree Special Activation Precinct,” Mr Farraway said.

Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said the big Newell upgrade was an exciting project for the Narrabri and Moree communities and would help the region take advantage of Inland Rail which was ‘steaming ahead.’

“This section of the Newell Highway is located within one of the most productive agricultural regions in Australia, so it’s critical that this road is up to scratch to ensure our farmers can more efficiently get their product to market, while improving safety and efficiency for all road users,” Mr Coulton said.

Mr Coulton said the project was one of many infrastructure projects underway in the region.

These included the jointly funded $122 million upgrades along the Newell Highway from Mungle Back Creek to Boggabilla, the $44 million Narrabri to Turrawan Line Upgrade and the $7.75 million Northern NSW Inland Port at Narrabri, which are due to be completed next year, as well as the jointly funded Moree Intermodal Overpass, connecting the Newell Highway and Inland Rail.

“In addition, work on the Narrabri to North Star section of the Inland Rail is progressing well.”

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