The Newell Highway upgrade between Narrabri and Moree continues to make significant progress with construction now underway in all four sections.

In a project update, Transport for NSW said works underway include sections at Bellata, south of Moree and north of Narrabri.

The state and federal governments are jointly funding the $261.17 million Newell Highway heavy-duty pavement upgrades. These upgrades will improve safety for motorists and reduce future maintenance requirements and costs.

Milestones in the second half of 2023 included major traffic switches just south of Moree and construction of the first stage of bridge-sized drainage structures, including at Clarks Gully.

Kerb works and the footpath tie-in on the eastern side of the highway near Bellata is complete with the remaining kerb and guttering activities through Bellata expected to be completed early this year. Stormwater drainage works are also now complete.

North of Narrabri, temporary works have commenced including material excavated, and the stabilisation of earthworks.

Work has also started north of Narrabri at the class three heavy vehicle rest area. The new rest area will include parking for 20 heavy vehicles (up to 48.5 metres long), separate parking for 10 light vehicles and multiple caravans.

Work on the Murrumbilla Lane intersection improvement and realignment has also commenced which will include a large new culvert under the highway.

Due to consecutive years of above-average rainfall prior to commencing construction, combined with flooding in the area since the project commenced, there have been significant impacts to the project.

“To ensure we meet our commitment of completing the project on time and on budget, Transport has modified the design in sections one (Narrabri) and two (Edgeroi) where work has not yet commenced,” the project update read.

“There will be no impacts in sections three (Bellata) and five (south of Moree) already underway. The project will continue to deliver on its key safety and productivity features including intersection improvements, widening of road shoulders, the provision of five additional overtaking lanes, as well as a new formal rest area near Narrabri.

“Transport will continue to engage and work closely with stakeholders and the community as work continues.”

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