1. Home

$4.6 Million upgrade of Kempsey Road's worst 'big hill' section

MEMBER for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall headed east last Sunday – down the hill on Kempsey Road – with very welcome news for local residents and Armidale Regional Council. 

After years of calling for improvements on Kempsey Road, Mr Marshall announced an immediate grant of $4.6 million from the NSW Fixing Country Roads program to to upgrade a 14.4 kilometre section of the infamous road, including the notorious Big Hill section.

This the largest single funding injection by a State Government on the road, since it was unceremoniously handed to council against the community’s wishes in 2008.

In addition to the funding, Mr Marshall said the government would reverse the “gifting” decision and take back the Kempsey Road within the Armidale Regional local government area, restoring its classification as a regional road all the way along, meaning council and ratepayers would no longer be burdened with the cost of marinating and upgrading the key route.

“The reality is, Kempsey Road should never have been downgraded to a local road and handed to council,” Mr Marshall said.

“I am thrilled for the locals here, who have had put to put up with a sub-standard across road for years.

“This funding will immediately widen and stabilise the worst section at Big Hill and the reclassification back to a regional road will ensure its continued improvement.

“Ultimately, Kempsey Road needs to be sealed all the way through to ensure an all-Eather all-vehicle access for local farmers, motorists and tourists.

“Council, local residents and road users have lobbied strongly for Kempsey Road to be reclassified and their victory is now in sight.

“I am very pleased to announce this funding, as the first of three stages worth around $16 million to completely overhaul Kempsey Road.

“This is in addition to the almost $800,000 project to seal the top section of the road which council is about to start.” 

In January, Minister for Roads Melinda Pavey drove road to see first-hand the need for greater investment and listen to the locals.

Armidale Regional Council Mayor Simon Murray said the boost in funding would enable Council to complete extensive rehabilitation works to improve safety and reduce ongoing maintenance.

“Council in partnership with Kempsey Shire and the local community have worked extremely hard over the last 12 months to secure this funding to improve this section of the Kempsey Road,” Cr Murray said.

“This announcement is great news, particularly for local residents in the area who have had to endure less than ideal road conditions.

“The funding will now allow Council to tackle the 14.4km Big Hill section to widen the road, stabalise the hillside which will improve drainage and install safety railing.”

Latest stories

News

Water restrictions
Armidale is currently on Level 4 water restrictions and Guyra is on Level 5.
Historic house accommodates water savings
Retrofitting a 120-year-old building to be more water efficient can have exceptional challenges – just ask the Coop family. Beth and her son Paul are working closely with Council to curb Smith House’s water consumption, in response to the Level 5 restrictions currently in place.
New airport bore supports aerial firefighting
Rural Fire Service aerial activities in the area will be provided with water from a new bore established at Armidale Regional Airport, removing a potential need to source water from town water supplies.
Test drilling brings positive signs for Guyra bores
Test drilling to locate possible ground water supplies will move to the Armidale town area next week, following success with test bores in and around Guyra.
Quicker payments to assist business
Council will pay local suppliers more quickly to help ease the financial strain being experienced by business during the current drought.
Live stream the Ordinary Council Meeting
You can now live stream the Ordinary Council Meeting 27 November 2019
Pools buzzing with school lessons
Students from many of the region’s schools are descending on Armidale’s Monckton Aquatic Centre and Guyra Swimming Pool for learn-to-swim and lifesaving lessons during November and December. Until 18 December, there will be some interruptions to lap swimming at Monckton Aquatic Centre and general admission to Guyra Swimming Pool.
Pure lessons in water security
Armidale Community Preschool has a strong emphasis on bringing its children in touch with nature. Now the preschool’s latest activity has helped to reduce its consumption of the region’s dwindling town water supply and take the Allingham Street facility towards water self-sufficiency.
Armidale Regional Plan 2040
Now is the time for the Armidale region community to share their views and opinions on the future plans for our city, towns and villages to shape our vision for growth and prosperity and give certainty and direction for the next 20 years.
Christmas in the Mall postponed
Council has made the decision to postpone the Christmas in the Mall celebrations in Armidale scheduled for tomorrow afternoon from 5pm-9pm.
Concrete action by business for water savings
Water saving has been on the radar for Armidale concrete and earthworks company Ducats for a number of years but current water restrictions have sped up its conservation efforts and brought remarkable results.