Local News

Millions of dollars of upgrade work in the Upper Hunter Shire

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There's millions of dollars worth of upgrades happening on roads in the Upper Hunter Shire. 

The upgrades to Moonan Brook and Hunter Roads, will be starting from the intersection where the two roads meet are the first step in improving road access to the beautiful Barrington tops.

The upgrades will improve the quality of the road network, provide an economic boost that will create jobs during construction and provide easier access and increase tourism to this wonderful wilderness area.

There are two stages to the planned upgrades on Moonan Brook Road  with pavement widening and strengthening, initial seal of the 5.4km segment of road, installation of additional drainage structures, clearing vegetation and widen cuttings to improve sight distance and the installation of guard rail. 

 This $5.6 million project is funded with $4.9 million from the NSW Government Fixing Local Roads program, $500,000 from the Australian Government’s Roads to Recovery program and $200,000 from Council funds.

The other part is Hunter Road with work including pavement widening and strengthening, initial seal of the 6.6km segment of road, installation of additional drainage structures and installation of guard rail. 

 It is estimated that this project will cost $4.6 million, of which the Council has already secured funding to the amount of $2million from the Australian Governments Heavy Vehicle Safety & Productivity Program Round 7 and $100,000 from Council. Once the design plans are complete, final costing will be done and grants sought for the remaining amount. 

New England MP Barnaby Joyce said the upgraded road access to the world heritage-listed Barrington Tops National Park will be a great boost to the local tourism sector.

“This park is a big drawcard for tourists and provides many economic benefits for our region with visitors staying at local motels and dining out at local cafes and restaurants,” he said.

“Anything we can do to encourage more people to visit will be a great asset for the New England and Upper Hunter.” 

Mayor Maurice Collison thanked the Australian and NSW governments for funding towards the road project.

“The Moonan Brook and Hunter Road improvements are part of our commitment to allocating resources and funding to improve the road network in the Shire.” 

“With these upgrades we will be able to provide safer conditions for local residents and easier access for visitors wanting to explore the natural wonders of our region.”

Image credit: NSW Nationals