IMPROVEMENTS to the Mitchell Highway east of Lucknow are hoped to cut the number of fatal crashes along the notorious stretch.
NSW Roads and Maritime Services began four projects worth $6.6 million in January and put the final touches on the upgrade in the past fortnight, including a 500-metre extension to the eastbound overtaking lane, upgrades to drainage and stabilisation of the slopes lining the road.
Crucially, two kilometres of wire rope barriers were laid on the edges of the road and down the centre.
RMS network and safety manager Dane Hendry said there had been 29 crashes in the past five years – 10 of them were head-on and four were fatal.
This is probably one of the busiest sections.Parliamentary secretary Rick Colless
“It’s quite a high fatigue area as well,” he said.
Western NSW parliamentary secretary Rick Colless said the overtaking lane would improve traffic flow for motorists travelling to Bathurst at peak times.
“This is probably one of the busiest sections because it takes all the Orange-Bathurst traffic, as well as the Blayney-Orange traffic,” he said.
Mr Hendry said more than 10,000 vehicles a day used the stretch, 18 per cent of them heavy vehicles.
“Lucknow brings everyone into a clump so having [the lane] here gives everyone the opportunity to sort themselves out,” he said.