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The first sod was turned today on the second stage of the South Orange Economic Development Corridor – Southern Feeder Road project, which is set to improve efficiency, reliability and safety on the heavy vehicle route south of Orange, NSW.

Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Member for Calare Andrew Gee said the project was funded through the Australian Government’s $368 million Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program (HVSPP), which aims to improve the productivity and safety of heavy vehicle operations Australia-wide. 

“This project will improve productivity in the south Orange area through providing an alternative, more direct route for heavy vehicles to the local industrial areas and Mitchell Highway, while also taking heavy vehicle traffic off suburban streets,” Mr Gee said.

NSW Parliamentary Secretary for NSW, Rick Colless said once complete, the project would reduce travel times by up to 20 minutes.

“It is great to see the three tiers of Government working together to deliver this vital piece of infrastructure in Orange. Motorists will soon be able to bypass the centre of town, saving them considerable time and getting them home to their families more quickly,” Mr Colless said.

Mayor of Orange City Council Reg Kidd said the second stage of the project was an important step towards linking the key industrial and growth areas of Orange with major highways.

“The project includes a new rail overpass bridge to eliminate the bottle-neck currently created by the level crossing over the main western rail line, which is often an obstacle for heavy transport vehicles,” Cr Kidd said.

The third and final stage is expected to start by August 2019, weather permitting, with both stages two and three of the project expected to be complete by October 2021, weather permitting. 

Stages two and three of the South Orange Economic Development Corridor - Southern Feeder Road project is jointly funded, with the Australian Government committing $6.4 million, the New South Wales Government committing $11.8 million and Orange City Council committing $5.8 million.