Cessnock City Council receives $1.6 million Fixing Local Roads grant for Sandy Creek Road, Quorrobolong

FUNDING ANNOUNCEMENT: Cessnock mayor Bob Pynsent and NSW Nationals Senator Perin Davey at Sandy Creek Road, Quorrobolong last Wednesday.
FUNDING ANNOUNCEMENT: Cessnock mayor Bob Pynsent and NSW Nationals Senator Perin Davey at Sandy Creek Road, Quorrobolong last Wednesday.

Sandy Creek Road at Quorrobolong will undergo a much-needed upgrade after Cessnock City Council secured a $1.6 million grant from the second round of the NSW Government's Fixing Local Roads program.

But council's recent success in obtaining such grants means some projects will be "reprioritised" in order to meet the funding program's deadlines.

The Fixing Local Roads grant - which is in addition to the $343,500 in Black Spot Funding council received for Sandy Creek Road last July - will go towards pavement rehabilitation and minor shoulder widening on various sections of the busy rural road.

Projects that receive funding under the Fixing Local Roads program must be completed within two years.

"Sandy Creek Road is in dire need of rehabilitation and with council's limited funding, we rely on programs like Fixing Local Roads to help us undertake this critical infrastructure work," Cessnock mayor Bob Pynsent said.

"It will be a relief for residents, and also for heavy vehicle drivers frequenting the road to service rural land holders, primary producers and also mining-related industries."

The grant is the latest in a long line of state and federally-funded grants the council has received in the 12 months - some of which must be completed within certain timelines to guarantee the funding.

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"Council's continued success in securing grant funding has resulted in our teams working tirelessly to deliver projects in line with their individual funding agreements," council's infrastructure manager Katrina Kerr said.

"Council is currently working to reprioritise projects according to grant funding milestones.

"Projects with more immediate milestones will be prioritised to commence first.

"For example, dates are currently being readjusted to accommodate the $1.62 million announced this week for Sandy Creek Road.

"We understand the community are anxious to see many of these road upgrades occur and other projects completed.

"Council is looking forward to delivering these to the community as quickly as possible."

Council received $3.7 million under the first round of the Fixing Local Roads program in July last year, to be shared between projects on Old Maitland Road, Sawyers Gully; Mitchell Avenue, Kurri Kurri and Cessnock Road, Weston.

Ms Kerr said these three projects are all due to be completed by January 2022, subject to weather conditions.

Fixing Local Roads, a $500 million NSW Government program, was "turbocharged" by the Federal Government committing $191 million last year.

NSW Nationals Senator Perin Davey was in Cessnock last Wednesday to make the funding announcement for the Sandy Creek Road project.

"Big infrastructure projects are incredibly important but smaller projects such as these make a big difference in people's everyday lives," Ms Davey said.

"The Nationals are committed to delivering important projects such as these for the people of the Hunter Region."

HAVE YOUR SAY: Which roads in the Cessnock LGA would you like to see upgraded, and why? Tell us at lowerhunter@austcommunitymedia.com.au.