Great news for fans of Thunderbolts Way.
The federal and local governments have announced $5 million to fund an upgrade of a 60-odd kilometre section of the road between Gloucester in the south and Uralla on the New England Highway in the north.
Thunderbolts Way actually stretches from Port Stephens north to Goondiwindi across the Queensland border. However, the best part for motorcycle riders is the twisty section that runs over the ranges through the Woko National Park.
This section has fallen into a sorry state of disrepair in recent years from up to 1000 vehicles a day pounding the surface, 20% of which is heavy vehicles.
The potholes will be repaired, the road widened in sections and strengthened.
While roadworks are expected to begin in October they are not scheduled to be completed until July 2016, so it might pay to avoid the road for the next three years.
The budget for the works comes from the Regional Development Australia Fund which benefitted from $1 billion as part of the support of Federal Member for New England Tony Windsor to form this government.
Mr Windsor said Thunderbolts Way has become a well-used route for tourism and economic reasons.
“It has been so well used that it now needs further upgrades to improve safety,” he says.
“Bike riders like a good ride through the country and Thunderbolts Way is certainly that. This $5m upgrade will make the ride safer and therefore more enjoyable for all users.”