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Mitchell Highway set for further improvement works

Mitchell Highway

Ongoing upgrades on a 50-kilometre stretch of New South Wales’ Mitchell Highway started back in 2018, but new safety measures on the road are already paying dividends with new wire rope barriers having prevented dozens of crashes.

The installation of the barriers between Bathurst and Orange started at East Lucknow in 2018, and has gone on to include Oakey Creek Lane, Guyong, Vittoria East and East Guyong, and, most recently, Vittoria Curve.

Work has also started to install a dedicated turning lane at a crash hotspot at the intersection with Pretty Plains Road.

Federal assistant transport minister Carol Brown says every wire strike on the Mitchell Highway helps prevent tragedy.

“Since the installation of the flexible wire barriers in 2018 there have been more than 50 recorded wire strikes where vehicles have hit the rope running down the centre or along the edges of the highway,” Brown says.

“Each of these wire strikes means a vehicle may have otherwise crossed to the wrong side of the highway, avoiding a potential tragedy if a vehicle happened to be passing in the opposite direction.

“These are stark figures that illustrate just how important it is to invest in improved safety on regional roads, helping to ensure motorists get home safely to their families every time.”

State member for Orange Phil Donato says it has been important to identify hotspots for crashes along the crucial stretch of road during the upgrades.

“The Mitchell Highway between Bathurst and Orange is a key route not only linking two major regional centres but also linking the Central West to Sydney and the Blue Mountains.

“These safety upgrades have been focused on known crash hot spots and sections of the highway with a history of fatigue-related crashes and a high proportion of run-off-road and head-on crashes.

“I am delighted to see the work that has been completed now between Bathurst and Orange and I will continue advocating to ensure residents living in the Central West and regional NSW continue to have access to their vital road safety funding.”

In addition to the installation of wire ropes, roads have been widened, turning lanes have been upgraded, drainage has been improved and vegetation has been removed to decrease the risk of winter black ice.

Rumble strips have also been installed to alert drivers as to when they have crossed the centre line or run off the road.

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