Waterfall Way Upgrade

WaterFall Way - July 2022.JPG

Waterfall Way provides a 170 kilometre east – west connection between the Pacific Highway at Raleigh and the New England Highway at Armidale. It connects rural communities to the urban centres of Coffs Harbour and Armidale.

In August 2021, Transport for NSW asked for your comments on the proposed program of work for Waterfall Way. Thank you to everyone who took time to review the program and provide feedback. Your input has been considered in finalising this program of work, which will be carried out at multiple locations on Waterfall Way during the next four years.

An estimated 42,377 people live in the vicinity of Waterfall Way, with about 33,000 of this number in the major regional towns and centres including Bellingen (6,168), Dorrigo (3,250) and Armidale (23,967) (2021 ABS census). The region encompasses the traditional lands of the Gumbaynggirr, Nganyaywana and Dunghutti people.

Traffic volumes along the Waterfall Way vary in the rural sections from about 750 vehicles per day, between Dorrigo and Ebor, to more than 6,700 vehicles per day between the Pacific Highway and Bellingen.

Why are we doing this work?

Waterfall Way has long been recognised as an essential road corridor for communities, tourism and agriculture. We understand that frequent and ongoing disruption due to natural disasters prevents access to jobs, education, leisure and essential services.

We are working to:

  • improve road safety
  • investigate opportunities for greater resilience of the road network, which enables us to respond better to events that can’t be avoided or predicted
  • restore and maintain road infrastructure including pavement, bridges, retaining walls, slopes and drainage

While we cannot eliminate disruption, such as the March 2021 and 2022 wet weather events which caused major damage and land slips between Bellingen and Dorrigo, we can improve the resilience of customer journeys, build redundancy into our networks, and keep our customers safe and informed.


What work are we doing?

Work along Waterfall Way generally falls into four categories:

  1. Safety
  2. Disaster recovery
  3. Journey resilience
  4. Maintenance

We are currently focused on delivering safety and disaster recovery work, which involves:

  • widening the road
  • installing or upgrading safety barriers
  • intersection and road safety improvements
  • installing slow vehicle passing lanes
  • implementing temporary and permanent engineering solutions at land slip sites such as Myers Bluff and Thora

The PRRR of journey resilience

Resilience can be considered as the ability to withstand, adapt to and recover quickly from anticipated or unexpected shocks and stresses –now and in the future.

Improving journey resilience includes four key principles:

  • Plan to prevent future journey impacts –identify and prioritise targeted maintenance activities such as improvements to drainage
  • Respond and manage disruption when it occurs –use technology such as variable message signs to enhance warning systems and communicate with customers in real time
  • Recover and return the network to ‘normal’ operating conditions as quickly as possible to enable customers to access the road as they would on a normal day
  • Reflect, review and redefine approaches –seek continuous improvement through feedback and engagement with internal and external stakeholders

Work hours

Work hours will be between 7am and 5pm, Monday to Friday and Saturdays between 7am and 1pm. We will notify residents adjacent to work if there is a need to work outside these hours.

The project team will plan activities to minimise the impact of this work where possible and monitor any potential impacts so we can adjust our work as required.

Plan your journey

To manage safety there will be temporary traffic changes including reduced speed limits and lane closures, which may affect travel times.

You will need to plan for up to 5-minute delays at each location as they will

be controlled with traffic signals. Whenever possible, priority will be given to emergency vehicles and school buses.

Please keep to speed limits and follow the direction of traffic controllers and signs. For the latest traffic updates, you can call 132 701, visit livetraffic.com or download the Live Traffic NSW App.