A Gunnedah-based business will start work on the second rail overpass later this year.
Mark Griffin, project manager of successful tenderer Daracon, said it would mobilise in November.
Mr Griffin said the existing roundabout on Oxley Highway would be modified and Blackjack Creek would be realigned from the culvert on the highway to the railway line on New Street.
He said Daracon would spend the next few months preparing and submitting paperwork including a management plan and road occupancy licence application to the Roads and Maritime Services and Gunnedah Shire Council.
The long-awaited road-over-rail bridge will enable an uninterrupted flow of traffic and provide a suitable route for heavy vehicles and easy access to all parts of town for emergency services.
Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson said it was a “significant piece of infrastructure for Gunnedah” and was needed because of an increase in trains.
“Gunnedah is a significant pinch point in the heavy vehicle route in NSW so what we’ve got to try and do is eliminate pinch points to allow free flow,” he said.
A study was commissioned by Gunnedah Shire Council and carried out by GHD consultants in the early 2000s found congestion would worsen through Gunnedah if nothing was done to separate road and rail traffic.
At the time, traffic modelling suggested trains would run through the town every 17 to 19 minutes, backing up traffic for miles and cutting the town in two. It concluded that the town would face “complete gridlock” if the overpass wasn’t built.
Gunnedah mayor Jamie Chaffey said it was “the single biggest investment we’ve seen in Gunnedah in the history of infrastructure”.
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