Thora, Dorrigo Waterfall Way upgrades

The dangerous curve at Thora, looking southeast down Waterfall Way towards Little North Arm Road
The dangerous curve at Thora, looking southeast down Waterfall Way towards Little North Arm Road

A curve on Waterfall Way near Little North Arm Road, Thora and also the junction of Waterfall Way and Dome Road, Dorrigo will receive funding totalling $2.16 million under the Saving Lives on Country Roads Program.

A 2014 safety review of Waterfall Way found its casualty crash rate was more than twice that of comparable roads across NSW, with 180 crashes involving either an injury or fatality  between January 2010 and December 2014.

A cluster of crashes was concentrated on a curve just above Little North Arm Road, 1.7 kilometres north-west of Darkwood Road, Thora.

In the five-year period there were ten crashes resulting in seven casualties. Speed was a factor in 82 per cent of them.

As an interim measure an eastbound curve warning speed advisory and static chevron alignment markers were installed in December 2014.

Yesterday, the Member for Oxley and Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, Melinda Pavey MP, announced $1.35 million worth of funding to make this section of road safer.

The improvements will reduce the likelihood and severity of crashes and include a motorcyclist-friendly safety barrier, road surface improvements and a sealed shoulder.  

Funding of $810,000 for Waterfall Way at Dome Road, Dorrigo will similarly reduce the likelihood and severity of crashes and include a safety barrier with motorcycle underrun, delineation, audio tactile line marking, road surface improvements, intersection improvements and sealed shoulder.

Work here will focus on Waterfall Way from 350 metres north of Dome Road to 500 metres south.

The project, which is due to be completed in June 2020, will provide wider sealed shoulders and a high friction road surface to reduce the likelihood of run off road crashes.

A painted median will also be installed to reduce the likelihood of motorists crossing the centre line resulting in a head on crash.

There will also be a right hand turn bay installed at the Dome Road intersection itself to address rear end type crashes involving motorists waiting to turn right into Dome Road and northbound through traffic.

Announcing the funding, the Member for Oxley and Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, Melinda Pavey MP, said the projects form part of a $640 million program to deliver safety upgrades on country roads.

“Country people make up a third of the NSW population, but last year fatalities on country roads made up nearly 70 per cent of the road toll,” Mrs Pavey said.

“The Saving Lives on Country Roads Program aims to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads by addressing high risk curves and installing safety features to prevent driver fatigue and lane departure crashes.”