GUNNEDAH’S new rail overpass will connect the Oxley Highway roundabout with a new roundabout at the intersection of Conadilly and Warrumbungle streets.
The announcement of the recommended option was made at AgQuip yesterday by Roads and Freight Minister Duncan Gay and Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson after several years of planning and community consultation.
Mr Gay said half the nation’s and three-quarters of all interstate freight journeys were on the road and the overpass would help improve the efficiency of these trips.
“The Gunnedah overpass is one of 17 key locations in country NSW we are committed to improving the state’s freight movement by upgrading and replacing bridges over the next five years,” he said.
The selection of option C, from four initial options, is west of the Gunnedah Maize Mill and includes access to the Barber St business precinct.
It will replace the New St level crossing, which will be closed.
Gunnedah Shire Council planning and development director Michael Silver said the rail bridge would improve road safety, reduce the impacts of the increasing use of rail networks within the shire and meet future transport requirements for Gunnedah and the wider community.
“The proposed rail overpass and reconfiguration of the highway network through Gunnedah will provide significant commercial benefits for the business community, especially the West End business district,” he said.
“With the Oxley and Kamilaroi highways now aligned to the Warrumbungle St intersection, and Bloomfield St defining the high- mass load corridor, considerable development opportunities now exist in the western section of Railway Ave, Barber St and Conadilly St.”
Mr Silver said stakeholder comments along with environmental, technical and social factors – including impacts on businesses and residents, effects on koala habitats and flooding – were all taken into account when determining the preferred option.
The community will now have a chance to have its say on the recommendation with community drop-in sessions in the Gunnedah Town Hall on Conadilly St on Wednesday, August 27, from 4pm to 7pm, and Thursday, August 28, from 9am to noon.
The closing date for community feedback submissions to Roads and Maritime Services is September 12.
A copy of the recommendation report is available at www.rms.nsw.gov.au