IT MIGHT only be a 10 kilometre stretch of road, but its upgrade has been paved with the promise of future growth for the city by local leaders.
The final stage of upgrades on Appleby Lane, north of Tamworth, have gotten under way and mayor Col Murray said it’ll be a critical piece of infrastructure as the city shapes-up as a freight hub.
The work is centred on the intersection of Appleby Lane and Manilla Road and while Cr Murray said it would “have some fairly serious impacts on traffic”, he was confident the city would reap long-term benefits from the upgrade.
“This a critical piece of connectivity that connects up that massive productive area right up to the golden triangle around North Star through to the industrial precinct in Tamworth,” he said.
“With things like our intermodal terminal, those food processors, the livestock selling centres, the abattoirs, potentially longer-term, the air freight project, this is a critical part of that whole infrastructure.
“It really connects the dots.”
The $4.3 million road upgrade was jointly funded by state, federal and local government contributions.
New England MP Barnaby Joyce said the funding the road-fix was about planning for the city’s future growth.
“It’s all about our investment in the New England, it’s all about making sure that we plan a city for the 21st century,” Mr Joyce said.
“This is another vital part and it shows our continual engagement with the people of New England, our continual engagement with the city of Tamworth and making sure our city grows into the future and we make the plans now that make the city so much more liveable in 50 years time.”
Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson said the final stage would include adding slip lanes at allow for safer turns at the intersection and increase productivity.
“Appleby Lane is continuing to be one the busiest shortcuts between Gunnedah Road and Manilla Road,” Mr Anderson said.
“We’re seeing today the amount of trucks that use this to cut through to the cattle yards and sale yards.”