Kempsey Road

Kempsey-Armidale Road Recovery Program

The Kempsey-Armidale Road is an important corridor, which links Armidale and the coast. The road also supports the local community and agriculture and tourism industries in both the Armidale and Kempsey regions.

The road was severely damaged by bushfires at the end of 2019 and subsequent flooding in 2020 and 2022:

  • Bushfire, NSW bushfires: 31 August 2019 onwards
  • Storm and Flood, NSW storms and floods: 15 January 2020 onwards
  • Heavy rainfall in February and March 2022

The condition of the road has deteriorated due to these natural disasters and several landslips have occurred. Emergency recovery works have been undertaken at several locations where the severe damage to the road occurred from these natural disasters. Council is now working to prepare for the main recovery works commencing in 2024. This will involve undertaking certain early works which must be carried out before the main recovery works can begin.

Council is working to rehabilitate and restore 43kms of Kempsey-Armidale Road and a 5.1km section of Lower Creek Road to pre-disaster condition.

The scope of works for the overall project has been classified into two categories and four separate projects:

 Natural Disaster Recovery Works (ch72.95km - ch116.00km) comprising restoration of a 43km section of the Kempsey-Armidale Road and a 5.1km long section of Lower Creek Road, Lower Creek, to their pre-disaster conditions;

Improvement Works Projects comprising the following three projects:

  1. Blackbird Flat - Fixing Local Roads, Blackbird Flat Cutting (ch73.50km-ch74.05km) which includes sealing this section of pavement;
  2. Flying Fox - Fixing Local Roads, Flying Fox Cutting (ch86.30km-ch88.15km) which includes sealing this section of pavement; and
  3. Big Hill - Restart NSW, three curves on Big Hill, (ch112.888km - 113.193km, and ch108.563km – ch108.723km), with these three curves being constructed as unsealed pavements.

 The project is jointly funded by the NSW Government and the Australian Government under the Natural Disaster Funding Arrangements 2018.


The Kempsey to Armidale Road, between Big Hill and Blackbird Flat is CLOSED TO ALL TRAFFIC.


THE ONLY exemptions are local residents of the road for essential travel and for emergency and essential services.