ANOTHER small step in the estimated six months of road works to upgrade Tamworth’s Manilla Rd was taken with the closure of Johnston St yesterday.
At the end of last month Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) announced it had developed a strategy to upgrade the road in stages – with stages one and two from Johnston St to west of Brolga Cr to be constructed at the same time.
Preliminary works on the road began last month but it wasn’t until yesterday that Johnston St was closed and made inaccessible from Manilla Rd – a closure that is expected to last about six weeks.
The road can still be accessed from Tribe St.
RMS regional manager John Alexander said excavation works and earthworks had been underway since the end of February.
“Temporary traffic lanes are being built to allow Manilla Rd to remain open in both directions until the upgrade is completed,” he said.
The state government committed $3 million to begin the upgrade in January 2011.
Stage one of the works was designed to deliver improvements from Johnston St to west of Conimbla Cr.
Stage two will complete the upgrade to west of Brolga Cr, but the RMS said both stages of the upgrade would be constructed simultaneously.
In February, after numerous community consultations, the RMS refined its final design in line with the feedback provided by road users.
Among the changes to the roadwill be additional kerbing and guttering, parking, pedestrian islands and improved access.
The road pavement will be widened too, something the RMS said would result in a consistent road surface and renewed pavement life.
In the final design the RMS released the accompanying comment: “to ease congestion and improve traffic flow, the upgrade will improve turning arrangements at intersections and provide a dedicated central lane, known as a ‘twirtle’ to separate turning and through traffic”.
It also suggested the upgrade would use the existing Manilla Rd corridor, minimising environmental, economic and property impacts.
Tamworth Regional Council is working with RMS to deliver the upgrade.
It is expected the construction process will take approximately five months,weather permitting.
40km limits in place
Changed traffic conditions will be in place on Manilla Rd from Johnston St to west of Brolga Cr, over the coming six months, while construction is
Both traffic lanes will remain operational during construction.
Changed traffic conditions are most likely on weekdays between 7am and 6pm and on Saturdays from 8am to 1pm until mid-July, weather permitting.
Motorists may experience some minor delays.
Traffic controllers and a 40km/h speed limit will be in place during working hours.