Work to restore and improve Waterfall Way is continuing with input from the local community and stakeholders now being sought on the next section of this vital transport link.
Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England Barnaby Joyce said the Commonwealth Government is contributing more than $37 million from the COVID-19 economic stimulus package, on top of the New South Wales Government’s initial $50 million commitment, to improve Waterfall way.
Mr Joyce, who is also the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, said the package has brought forward projects to upgrade safety at several locations along the route.
“They include the installation of audio-tactile edge line markings, wide painted centre lines, flexible roadside barriers, shoulder sealing and guardrail installation east of Armidale and at Wollombi, as well as improvement work on Waterfall Way near Bellingen,” Mr Joyce said.
“One life lost on Australian roads is one too many. That’s why the Commonwealth Government has committed $3 billion for the nationwide Road Safety Program.
“The funding supports the fast roll-out of life-saving safety works on rural and regional roads and this announcement is another example of what we’re doing to reduce the number of Australians missing around the dinner table due to tragedies on our roads.”
New South Wales Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said this important corridor connects rural Tablelands communities with those on the coast, so ensuring access remains open for those communities is a key objective of the works.
“Local communities are well aware of its importance and this was highlighted again when access was cut at several locations following the severe weather event in March, so it’s crucial we get this next stage of work right as well, so we can keep this road open in the future,” Mr Toole said.
“It’s a long and complex program of works, but we’re taking it one step at a time to ensure the communities, businesses and tourists that use this road every day have a stronger, safer connection through the mountains.”
Federal Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan said planned works at various locations includes widening the road to nine metres, installing or upgrading safety barriers, and improving intersections and road corners.
“Apart from the many safety upgrades we’re implementing, we’re also including slow vehicle passing lanes on Dorrigo Mountain to ease congestion,” Mr Conaghan said.
State Member for Oxley Melinda Pavey said work is already complete on some projects, including building a new $2 million roundabout in Dorrigo and improving stability of two slopes on Dorrigo Mountain.
“I know locals and visitors all appreciate the work already done and are looking forward to the improvements yet to come,” Mrs Pavey said.