Newell Highway Upgrade

Newell Highway Upgrade

The Newell Highway is part of the National Land Transport Network and the longest highway in New South Wales. It is the principal freight route between Melbourne and Brisbane, and is a critical link for regional producers in New South Wales.

The New South Wales Government has introduced the Newell Highway Corridor Strategy, in line with its long-term regional transport plans, to deliver safety and capacity improvements to the highway over a 20-year timeframe. Under the Strategy, short, medium and long-term investment priorities along the 1058-kilometre highway has been  identified.

Key projects and programs under the Newell Highway Upgrade are listed below.

Heavy Duty Pavement Upgrades ($257m)

The currently identified work involves heavy duty pavement upgrades along eight sections of the Newell Highway -five between Narrabri and Moree and three north of Moree. Totalling 62 kilometres, the upgrades will include:

  • widening the existing highway or constructing a new two lane highway adjacent to the existing highway-upgrade intersections and right turning lanes
  • retaining or improving the 110 kmph design speed alignments
  • improving access to private property and bus stops, and
  • providing new 1.5-kilometre long dedicated overtaking lanes in five locations between Narrabri and Moree. 

 New Dubbo Bridge ($220 m)
A new 545-metre bridge will connect the western shore of the Macquarie River to River Street New, providing an aditional river crossing in Dubbo during floods. The New Dubbo Bridge project will also include:

  • new and upgraded intersections at Thompson Street, Whylandra Street, and the Newell Highway
  • realignment of Newell Highway with separated lanes north of Whylandra Street, and
  • an intersection upgrade at Bourke Street and River Street.

Parkes Bypass ($187m)
 This project involves a new 10.5-kilometre bypass 1.5 to 2 kilometres west of Parkes. Features include:

  • a single-lane road (each direction) with five intersections
  • two bridges
  • extension of Hartigan Avenue
  • realignment, reconfiguration and modification to local roads, and
  • a new shared path for pedestrians and cyclists along the bypass.

Additional overtaking Lanes

The New South Wales Government formed the Newell Highway Program Alliance to initially deliver about 30 overtaking lanes, in addition to the 20 previously delivered. With more Federal funding in 2020-21 Budget, a further ten overtaking lanes were added to the scope of the project. In total, this program of work will result in the construction of a minimum of 45 kilometres of new overtaking lanes, delivering them in four years, instead of the initial timeframe of eight years.

Key Dates

Jan 2019 Additional overtaking lanes contract awarded

Funding contributions

Federal Government
NSW Government
In its 2020-21 Budget, the Federal Government commited a total of $592 million for various projects along the highway. In its 2020-21 Budget, the New South Wales Government allocated $400 million in joint funding across the forward estimates. The full funding allocation for the Newell Highway Upgrade as well as the total estimated cost of the project is not clear.


Successful Tenderer: Newel Highway Program Alliance: BMD and AECOM


Jan 2019 BMD and AECOM was awarded the contract for Newell Highway Program Alliance
Oct 2020 In its 2020-21 Budget, the Federal Government committed a total of $592 million for various upgrades across the highway.
Nov 2020 In its 2020-21 Budget, the New South Wales Government allocated $400 million in joint funding across the forward estimates.
Nov 2020 Following funding in the Federal Budget, the New South Wales Government announced that an additional ten overtaking lanes will be constructed through the Newell Highway Program Alliance, bringing the total overtaking lanes under the program to 40.
Feb 2021 Infrastructure Australia added the Parkes Bypass as a Priority Project on its Infrastructure Priority List.
Mar 2021 The NSW Government issued Requests For Tenders for the construction of the Parkes Bypass, closing 13 May. Separate RFTs were also issued for an electrical works package and an early works fencing package, closing 30 March.
Procurement approach
Traditional Procurement | Alliance |
New South Wales |
Infrastructure Australia status
Priority Initiative (near-term, 0-5 years)