'Smart' Infrastructure On The Way For Barton Highway
The Australian and NSW Governments will be delivering all the short-term works in the Barton Highway Improvement Strategy in the next three years, while also looking to bring forward works to duplicate part of the Barton Highway.
IMAGE: L-R: Sophie Wade Barton Highway Action Group, Roads Minister Melinda Pavey, Member for Goulburn Pru Goward, Jonathan Tasker RMS, Senator John Williams, Rowena Abbey Mayor Yass Valley Council
Commuters will start seeing works such as tree trimming, adjustments to existing line marking, and installing updated road signs and safety barriers as priority actions under the Barton Highway Improvement Strategy kick off.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the works would begin this week and were to address the short-term actions identified in the Barton Highway Improvement Strategy – a comprehensive plan for taking action in response to community concerns about safety.
“These works will involve installing safety barriers and updated road signs, adjustments to existing line marking and tree trimming. There is likely to be sufficient combined funding to also do a section of duplication, and this is what both governments are now investigating,” Mr Chester said.
“The Australian Government has also approved a $3.25 million investment in intelligent transport systems that are designed to improve trip reliability and to better manage and reduce traffic incidents.”
NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey said ITS measures could include real-time traffic monitoring, closed circuit television (CCTV) and variable message signs at strategic locations to inform road users of changed traffic conditions.
“ITS and a duplication business case are two of the short-term actions identified as part of the improvement strategy, and the ITS measures in particular offer motorists the prospect of quicker, safer and more reliable trips by helping road users with travel decisions while improving incident management. This is good news for the entire Yass Valley region and is the result of significant stakeholder consultation and community feedback received as part of the improvement strategy,” Mrs Pavey said.
NSW Nationals Senator John Williams said up to 12,500 vehicles used the Barton Highway each day, underlining the importance of the corridor.
“The Barton Highway is being used by an increasing number of drivers for either work, school or to access services outside the Yass Valley. More than 8,000 people travel into the ACT for work each day and most of them travel by car, which underlines the importance of these works,” Senator Williams said.
NSW Member for Goulburn Pru Goward said the investments would complement a package of improvement works aimed at improving safety, traffic flow and freight productivity.
“These works will involve installing safety barriers and updated road signs, adjustments to existing line marking and tree trimming. The Barton Highway between Yass and the ACT border is a dangerous stretch of road that has seen 19 fatalities and 258 injuries recorded between 1997 and 2011, so the need to act is clear,” Ms Goward said.
Initial works under the package began in November 2017 and are due for completion in mid-2021. The Australian and New South Wales governments have each committed $50 million to improve road user safety, traffic flow and freight productivity on the Barton Highway.