A ROAD which has been a source of contention throughout two shires is receiving a much needed upgrade.
Retreat Road runs through the Tamworth and Uralla local government areas, and has previously been the focus for a group of residents who believe it is unsafe.
Much of their concern centred on the stretch between Balala and Uralla, but a $3.7 million upgrade will take place at the Tamworth end.
A 7km section of the road will be sealed between Tilmunda Road and Retreat Bridge; the bridge will also be replaced to open up the road network to heavy vehicles.
The NSW government has contributed $3.6 million as part of the Fixing Local Roads Program, while Tamworth Regional Council (TRC) has chipped in with $105,000.
Work will begin next week, and TRC mayor Col Murray said he is excited to see the end product, believing it will make the road safer for trucks and be a huge boost to local primary producers.
"We were very pleased to be able to obtain the funding needed to upgrade Retreat Road, as we understand the importance of providing a safe, accessible transport network right across our region, and not just between major towns," he said.
"This project has been a priority for some time, so it's wonderful to see that Retreat's residents and rural businesses will be able to benefit from this upgrade in the near future."
Work will be carried out from 7am to 5pm on weekdays, and is expected to be completed by early 2022, although the replacement of Retreat Bridge will begin once the roadworks have been completed.
Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson said the upgrades would help lower the potential for accidents and work towards the goal of no deaths on local roads.
"This Government has an ambitious plan to significantly reduce road accidents across the state," he said.
"A key part of that is sealing rural roads like Retreat Road, making them safer for motorists and freight operators."
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