2024 ‘Road Safety’ Category Honourable Mention

Lachlan Shire Council, NSW

Condobolin Improved Freight Logistics and Visitor Information Centre Project

2023 ‘Road Safety’ Category Honourable Mention

The Initiative

This road safety project was first identified by the Lachlan Shire Council in 2016/17. The aim was to assist both the travelling public and truck drivers during harvest, as well as the broader transport industry by having a safe and visible rest area facility.

The project included work to improve the flood resilience of 9 km of roadway adjacent to the Newell Highway, which is used as an alternate traffic route when the highway is closed by flooding. In 2016 and 2022, flooding closed the Newell Highway and many drivers seeking alternate routes were travelling via Condobolin and driving through closed roads – something that is ultimately unsafe and caused road damage.

An alternate heavy vehicle route was identified and road improvements made to link the Newell Highway south of Gilgandra through Narromine then Condobolin and onto the Newell Highway at West Wyalong or to the Mid–Western Highway through Hay. As part of these improvements the project to improve the flood immunity of the Lachlan Valley Way and the Gipps Way was also proposed. The flood immunity improvements allow the roads to remain open for up to a one–in–20–year recurrence interval flood event. The project involved the construction of two large drainage structures that increase the capacity for flood water to pass under the road without increasing the flood impacts on the surrounding properties.

This project had a positive local and regional economic impact by reducing transport costs because of lengthy road diversions. The roads upgrades in the project have a high percentage of heavy vehicle traffic and are popular tourist routes for grey nomad travellers looking for off–highway experiences. Lachlan Shire is RV friendly and has established stop over points for tourists at key visitor locations. To assist people driving long distances manage driver fatigue, 24–hour accessible toilets and showers and the new visitor information centre were constructed. These have been welcomed by truck drivers and travellers alike.

About the Category

The ‘Road Safety’ category recognises local government initiatives which:

  • improve road or roadside infrastructure with a focus on safety benefits including heavy vehicle transport;
  • improve emergency medical response services for those involved in road crashes; and/or
  • address the specific safety needs of vulnerable groups or target specific road user risk factors.

Successful initiatives in this award category benefit communities by:

  • making communities safer and more liveable;
  • reducing the financial costs of road congestion and transport accidents; and/or
  • contributing to reductions in deaths and serious injuries from road crashes.

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