A 500-metre section of Forest Road that was damaged by an increased number of trucks transporting hay and stock during the drought will be widened from seven metres to nine metres by May.
Orange City Council, with feedback from NSW Farmers, nominated the stretch near the intersection of Forest Road with Ginns Road and Selwood Lane for the upgrade, which would include the removal of the surface, rehabilitation of the underlying pavement as well as road widening and resurfacing.
The council intends for the work to be complete by the end of May.
Farmer Graham Brown said there were increased truck movements on the road through the drought via hay coming into the area, but also being taken away, with a neighbour essentially using his property as a depot.
MAP: Where the roadworks will be done …
Mr Brown welcomed the funding announcement and said the road was developed as an arterial road to Orange Regional Airport and was one of the first bitumen roads in the region.
He said in the past 60 years there was patching of the road on that stretch but no major upgrades.
On Tuesday Parliamentary Secretary for Western NSW Rick Colless announced the $297,000 state funding for the Forest Road upgrade, which he said had a lot of pot holes and he described it as “rough to ride on”.
It is part of almost $900,000 in funding from the Drought Relief Heavy Vehicle Access Program that was granted to the Orange electorate to be divided between the three shires due to increased movements of stock, feed and water transport.
Each council selected which sections of roads the money would be spent on.
Cabonne Council would spend $134, 380 to improve a section of Cargo Road, $102,330 on a section of Burrendong Way and $63, 250 will be spent on Gumble Road between Manildra and Cumnock. Parkes Shire Council would spend its $300,000 on improving Middle Trundle Road at Trundle.
“These are roads that have had a lot of heavy vehicles on them as a result of the drought, stock vehicles, heavy transports carrying fodder and hay,” Mr Colless said.
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