MU Group were engaged by Moree Plains Shire Council (MPSC) in 2019 to undertake detailed investigation and planning for a southern bypass of Moree linking the Gwydir Highway east and west of the township and to provide economic analysis of potential bridge overcrossings of the Inland Rail and Newell Highway corridors.
The purpose was to develop an integrated plan to link the Gwydir and Newell Highways at a location that would facilitate environmental and economically realistic access to the developing Intermodal Area east of the Inland Rail and to facilitate industrial development both east and west of the rail corridor.
Previous investigations by Council had devised a number of independent projects for the area. The MU Group team was challenged to rationalise the various plans and aspirations into a holistic strategy for Council, acceptable to TfNSW and ARTC to achieve NSW and Federal Government support.
Constraints on corridor location included the planned extension of the Moree Regional Airport runway and associated airdraft requirements, flooding from nearby Halls Creek, and design accommodation for the planned upgrade of Newell Highway by TfNSW.
Time was a critical factor as this planning and its acceptance was needed to be completed so as to be included in the general scope of the Inland Rail within the area.
MU Group has completed an overall strategy and concept design for MPSC for a southern bypass (south of and interfacing with the airport) and providing an integrated link of both major highways with the Inland Rail and Intermodal Area.
A plan has now been developed that will foresee potential and rational infrastructure development of the area for up to 30 years. Planning will integrate road, rail and air facilities within the Special Activation Precinct and will mitigate many existing adverse noise and safety impacts that occur now due to high volumes of agriculture and freight moving through sub-standard roads in highway and urban areas.
The reviews, planning and design were managed under MU Group’s Integrated Management System, which has been certified to comply with the requirements of ISO 9001:2015, AS/NZS 4801:2001 and ISO 14001:2015.
MU Group’s work has contributed to the government announcement that the Moree Special Activation Precinct (SAP) will be investigated to create a thriving business hub that will take advantage of its location in the middle of the most productive grain region in Australia, leveraging the Inland Rail route and Newell Highway. The Precinct would create a new business hub that specialises in agribusiness, logistics and food processing industries.
The current design has been developed into an animation by one of MU Group’s lead road designers Mr Guna Krishnasamy.