Traffic delays due to Willow Tree Road upgrade

Motorists may choose to take the detour through Scone to avoid delays on Willow Tree Road.
Motorists may choose to take the detour through Scone to avoid delays on Willow Tree Road.

MOTORISTS are advised there may be traffic delays on Willow Tree Road (MR 358) to and from Merriwa from mid-August through September.

Traffic delays along this route may be up to 45 minutes. 

An alternative detour route along the New England Highway via Scone will be signposted.

Upper Hunter Shire Council will be removing trees to allow for the widening of the road over the Liverpool Range from Tuesday, August 14, for an expected six weeks. 

Work schedules are dependent on favourable weather conditions.

The entire Willow Tree to Merriwa road upgrade is due to be completed, including full sealing, in mid-2019, at a cost of over $12 million.

The need to cart water daily to the road works from Merriwa is creating extra challenges for the road crew.

Council thanks drivers for their patience during this important road upgrade.

Council has completed 4.5km of road construction and sealing and the next 3.1km is due to be completed this year, finishing Stage 1 of the project.

Work has started on Stage 2, which is widening of the cutting over the Liverpool Range. 

This part of the project is about 3km long with a change in elevation of 200m requiring over 45,000m3 of rock and earth to be moved.

The linking of Golden Highway and the New England Highways will save about 44km each way and provide a cheaper, faster and safer trip for those travelling in the Upper Hunter and Liverpool Plains shires.

The joint project by Upper Hunter Shire Council and Liverpool Plains Council is funded with $5.57 million from the NSW Government’s Fixing Country Roads program, adding to the $800,000 NSW Government’s funding from the Regional Roads REPAIR Program.

In 2016, the Australian Government made $5.5 million available for the road upgrade through the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program.

For more information about these planned works, phone council on 6540 1100.