IA names Parkes Bypass a new priority project

Newell Highway work dubbed part of infrastructure-led economic recovery

IA names Parkes Bypass a new priority project
Perkes is in line for a Newell Highwy bypass


Infrastructure Australia (IA) has added construction of Parkes Bypass, on New South Wales’ Newell Highway, to the Infrastructure Priority List as a priority project.

An upgrade of Canberra’s Commonwealth Avenue Bridge is also an added project but work at Parkes involved the nation’s third-busiest freight route and dovetails with the town’s rail freight and intermodal focus, made more acute by the Inland Rail project.

IA explains that the NSW government’s proposed $172 million Parkes Bypass project involves a 10.5km bypass along the Newell Highway, including bridges over existing railway lines, connections to the Parkes Special Activation Precinct and upgrades to local roads. 

Read ATN’s detailed examination of northern Newell Hwy detour issues, here

The existing highway runs directly through the Parkes town centre, which contributes to congestion and safety risks in the town and limits the ability of high performance freight vehicles to use the corridor.

The Parkes Bypass would help remove heavy vehicle traffic from the town and improve connectivity between local producers and the Parkes Special Activation Precinct, which is being established to leverage the Inland Rail project.

"Within New South Wales, the Newell Highway plays a critical role servicing local traffic and consumer freight, and carries a significant volume of agricultural commodities from farms and other producers," IA chief executive Romilly Madew says.

"Up to 4,500 vehicles travel along the Newell Highway through Parkes each day, of which 15-25 per cent are heavy vehicles – creating significant safety risks for the local community.

"With a stated benefit-cost ratio of 1.2, Parkes Bypass is a nationally-significant investment opportunity that will help move these vehicles out of the town centre and importantly, as we officially enter a recession, ensure local goods get to market as quickly and safely as possible."

IA’s updated Infrastructure Priority List can be found here.


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