The Newell Highway between Forbes and West Wyalong reopened to all traffic last Friday. Mayor Graeme Miller said it was great news, especially for our business community. “Our town has been affected quite dramatically due to the highway being closed for the past six weeks.” “We have not had the visitors due to the normal traffic flow and some members of our business community have also had difficulty in receiving materials as the delivery has been bypassing Forbes in some circumstances.” NSW Minister for Roads and Freight, Ray Judge, Bill Dolle and Peter Bright from the Forbes and District Lions Club.
Duncan Gay, said the closure of this key freight route had impacted the state’s Central West and it was important to open it to all traffic as soon as possible. “At the peak of the floods, water across the Newell Highway was more than 80 cm deep – that’s too dangerous for any vehicle to try and cross and it had to be closed,” Minister Gay said. The Newell Highway is the backbone for communities in the Central West – Roads and Maritime has been assessing the highway each day to ensure it could be open as soon as was safe to do so. “I have met with many community members and I know the impact the Newell Highway closure has had on a wide variety of businesses and I want to thank the community for its continued patience while the impacts of the natural disaster continue to be repaired.”
Mayor Miller said Council was also supporting the Newell Highway Taskforce’s submission to the Federal Government in regards to flood proofing the Newell Highway between Forbes and West Wyalong. “The Newell Highway is a crucial road network and flood proofing it will mean this type of closure won’t happen again during a future major flood event,” he said.