Work on upgrading Lachlan Valley Way in the Yass Valley Council and Hilltops Shire Council LGAs to improve travel time and safety will begin in mid-November.
The initial stage includes overtaking lanes in both directions on the key commuter road that connects residents of the Cootamundra and Goulburn electorates with the Hume Highway and Goulburn and Canberra.
Lachlan Valley Way has a high crash history with 11 crashes in 2011–16, including one fatality and two serious injuries at the project locations.
“This work to build new overtaking lanes will improve travel times and safety while reducing road user frustration,” MP Pru Goward said.
The work will involve realigning and widening the existing road and constructing a new 1.2km northbound lane, 8km north of Kangiara Creek.
Overall, the NSW Government provided $4.4 million for the northbound lanes.
The work will also include improved drainage, the installation of guardrails and upgraded signposts.
Once completed, this safety work will also remove the current 80 km/h restricted speed limit in the northbound overtaking lane project area and return to the original 100 km/h.
What the work will do is take out a very bad section of the road. A lot of accidents and fatalities will be reduced.Jack Ryan, resident
The Kangiara Rural Fire Brigade has welcomed the announcement.
Senior deputy captain Tony Barton said initiatives to make roads safer were always positive.
“It wouldn’t hurt because there’s a lot of traffic, it’s getting faster and there are more large trucks,” Mr Barton said.
He said they occasionally receive calls to attend emergencies in the area.
“There was a bad one in march this year, so the upgrade would be an advantage,” he said.
The work to build the $2.5m southbound overtaking lane, near Kangiara Creek, is scheduled to follow from early December, weather permitting.
“This initial work will involve relocating Telstra services and tree clearing with major earthworks and road construction to start in January 2018,” Ms Goward said.
Jack Ryan, a resident of Kangiara, said the upgrades will alleviate the heavy usage of the road.
“There’s a large amount of traffic on it now, so the upgrades are well warranted,” Mr Ryan said.
“What the work will do is take out a very bad section of the road. A lot of accidents and fatalities will be reduced,” he said.
Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) had spent many months ensuring optimal planning and consultation for the overtaking lane project.
The location is of Aboriginal significance, which meant a full Aboriginal cultural–heritage assessment was conducted to ensure the project complies with RMS’s procedures and would not negatively impact the cultural heritage of local Aboriginal communities.
“The full investigation included in depth consultation with local Aboriginal community representatives and detailed test excavation work, during which there were no artefacts discovered or objections to the project,” Ms Goward said.
Work will be conducted on weekdays at 7am–6pm and on weekends at 8am–4pm, weather permitting.
For motorist and worker safety, some lane closures and a reduced speed limit of 40 km/h will be in place through the work sites.
Please follow all traffic control directions and signs.
RMS thanks the community for its patience during this upgrade work.