The final 56-kilometre sealing of Carrigan Road is now complete, providing all-weather access for heavy vehicles travelling between Mungindi and Boomi and saving drivers detours of up to 240 kilometres.
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said this now means the 150-kilometre strategic link connecting Mungindi and Boomi to the Newell Highway is fully sealed.
“This $11.6 million upgrade will be a game changer for local freight, livestock and grain operators by allowing access for Higher Mass Limit Vehicles up to 85 tonnes,” said Toole.
“When it’s rained in the past, these vehicles would have to divert to the Newell Highway because Carrigan Road was one of the first to go under and close in a flood.
“By fully sealing the road, rolling out new line markings and improving safety through shoulder widening, the project has delivered more reliable, efficient and safe journeys for those who use it.”
Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall said Carrigan Road was the front gate for a significant number of properties that generate millions of dollars each year for the local economy.
“This upgrade is not only improving local connectivity and reducing travel times for the freight industry, but also improving safety and access for emergency services to properties in the region,” said Marshall.
“The project will also strengthen multi-modal freight connections between regional producers and the future Inland Rail facility, connecting to the MoreeSpecial Activation Precinct, as part of the Narrabri to North Star section of the Inland Rail.
“The project has supported 35 jobs since work kicked off in March 2019, and crews have done an incredible job through the challenges of drought, bushfires, floods and COVID-19 to deliver this game-changer of an upgrade.”
Moree Plains Shire Mayor Katrina Humphries said well in excess of $30 million worth of agricultural produce in ordinary times, and potentially more out of drought, is transported off properties along this road every year.
“Prior to the sealing project, the gravel Carrigan Road required ongoing gravel re-sheeting and road closures during wet weather,” said Humphries.
“This caused ongoing delays for primary producers across the Moree Plains Shire.”
The $11.6 million project was made up of $10.4 million from the NSW Government’s Fixing Country Roads program, $1 million from Moree Plains Shire Council, and $150,000 from industry funding.