The Newell Highway bypass of Parkes is taking a great leap forward with work starting on the new Victoria Street Bridge.

The $187.2 million project is jointly funded by the Australian Government and NSW Government. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said it is part of a suite of projects rolling out along the Newell Highway to deliver improved safety, boost freight productivity and reduce travel times between the Victorian and Queensland borders.

“This is a major upgrade for the Newell Highway, with the Victoria Street Bridge providing access for locals across the bypass,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“The upgrades will also include a pedestrian and cycle path which will make commuting from the western side of the town easier and safer for residents.”

New South Wales Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway said major work started late last year on the project and the local community will be excited to see the next stage starting so soon.

“To ensure work is completed safely, Victoria Street will be closed between Moulden Street and Reedsdale Road from Monday, 31 January, with traffic detoured via Ross Road and Condobolin Road,” Mr Farraway said.

“We expect the bridge to be completed in April next year so we thank Parkes residents for their patience while the essential work gets underway.”

Federal Member for Riverina Michael McCormack said the project will benefit locals and freight operators alike when the bypass opens to traffic in 2024.

“In the meantime, 350 jobs will be supported while work is ongoing, bringing extra trade to businesses across Parkes and beyond,” Mr McCormack said.

Early work starting from Tuesday, 1 February, will include excavation and removal of material between Condobolin Road and Thomas Street before crews start to build the new bridge.

Work will be carried out from 7am to 6pm on weekdays and from 7am to 5pm on Saturdays, excluding public holidays. The community will be notified in advance if any work is required outside these times.