News / Community / 17th December 2020
Bypass: time to speak up
Local residents are being encouraged to speak up and speak out regarding the Newell Highway upgrade at Coonabarabran, as the project reaches the final stage of the $11.5 million planning process.
Transport for NSW has recently made public the Review of Environmental Factors (REF) report on the Coonabarabran bypass, with documents on display at Council and online for comment up until 29 January 2021.
Warrumbungle Shire Council mayor, Ambrose Doolan, said it was extremely important that residents of Coonabarabran have their say on the project.
“The proposal includes a new highway about eight kilometres long, east of the existing Newell Highway alignment,” Cr Doolan said.
“Obviously, this will mean that the highway will not run through our CBD and will bring both potential benefits and negatives for our town - hence the importance of residents having their say.”
Key features of the proposal include:
• A new two-lane, two- way road, about eight kilometres long to the east of Coonabarabran, between the Newell
Highway and Oxley Highway with a posted speed limit of 110 kilometres per hour;
• Changes to the intersection arrangement of the Newell Highway and Oxley Highway to the north of Coonabarabran;
• Intersections and local road adjustments at Purlewaugh Road and River Road, transforming both local roads into staggered T-intersections;
• A bridge crossing of the Castlereagh River;
• Two stock culverts - one under the highway just south of Purlewaugh Road and a private stock access under the highway between River Road and Chinamans Gully;
• Property acquisitions and adjustments to some property access;
• Drainage adjustments and utility relocations;
• Temporary ancillary facilities during construction including water quality controls, site offices and stockpile sites.
The work is expected to take around 20 months to complete.
“This will affect many of us and I am strongly encouraging residents to direct their submissions to Transport for NSW,” Cr Doolan said.
As part of the hard-sell for the project, NSW Roads conducted a live Facebook presentation on Tuesday, 16 December.
The heavily scripted information session received a number of questions from local people concerned about the wider impacts of the bypass on business, tourism, residents and cyclists.
While safety of users along the Newell Highway is being spruiked as the main thrust of the project, several questions were raised regarding the safety of local drivers, in particular the residents located east of the route along Purlewaugh and RiverRoads.
A Roads NSW spokesperon said these residents had been consulted, however, after speaking to a number of these residents, this information appears incorrect.
For more information about the REF report and to provide feedback, visit nswroads.work/coonabarabran
The Coonabarabran Times would love to hear your feedback on the bypass REF and concept design - email your Letter to the Editor at cbntimes@ tpg.com.au.