Wednesday 28th Oct, 2020

Infrastructure Australia adds Parkes Bypass to Priority List

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Infrastructure Australia has added the Parkes Bypass to its Priority List to support the national infrastructure-led COVID-19 recovery.

The $175 million Parkes Bypass project involves construction of a 10.5-kilometre bypass along the Newell Highway, including bridges over existing railway lines, connections to the Parkes Special Activation Precinct and upgrades to local roads.

The Newell Highway is a key freight corridor for consumer, manufacturing and agricultural goods that runs directly through the Parkes town centre.

The bypass will 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,” Infrastructure Australia Chief Executive Romilly Madew said.

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“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,” Madew said.

The Infrastructure Priority List is a pipeline of nationally significant investment opportunities for the near, medium and long term.

Madew said the list provides a robust and comprehensive infrastructure pipeline to guide the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Infrastructure Australia has been working collaboratively with Australia’s governments to provide advice on a staged response for managing, and recovering from, the social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Madew said.

“One critical element of our advice is to maintain a pipeline of nationally-significant infrastructure investments which have strong strategic merit and clear community benefits.

“With the addition of two new Priority Projects – Parkes Bypass and Commonwealth Avenue Bridge – the Infrastructure Priority List now showcases more than $65 billion worth of nationally-significant investment opportunities for governments at all levels to choose from,” Madew said.