The Australian and New South Wales Governments are pushing ahead with a game-changing bypass of Singleton on the New England Highway.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the New England Highway was a vital inland road link between Sydney and Brisbane and the primary route connecting the Upper Hunter with Maitland and Newcastle.
“The Australian Government has committed $560 million towards a new bypass of Singleton as part of our record investment in transport infrastructure, delivering safer and more efficient journeys for thousands of motorists every day,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“We’re now seeking industry feedback on the best way to deliver the bypass so we can get shovels in the ground and construction happening as quickly as possible.
“The Australian Government will continue to roll out these types of major projects across the nation under our record $110 billion infrastructure investment plan which is laying the foundations for our economic recovery from COVID-19.”
New South Wales Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the bypass was a big commitment that would remove one of the region’s most notorious bottlenecks.
“We know how important this project is to the community, which is why the NSW Government has committed $140 million towards the project,” Mr Toole said.
“With around 26,000 vehicles, including more than 3,700 trucks, passing through Singleton every day, a bypass will be a real game-changer for this community.
“It will remove about 15,000 vehicles per day from the town centre, ease congestion and improve safety as well as deliver travel time savings for thousands of motorists every day.”
Federal Member for New England Barnaby Joyce said the bypass would be designed to cater for a later upgrade to a dual carriageway where required to meet future traffic demands.
“We’ve planned this project effectively and I’m excited that it is moving forward because it will make our region an even better place to live, work and visit,” Mr Joyce said.
“The community has helped shape the design for the project and now we want to engage with the experts in the field to ensure we are well-positioned to deliver it as soon as possible.”
“We have a plan that’s going to bring more people into the New England and Upper Hunter, get them there quickly and safely so they can spend their money in your shops and motels.”
State Member for Upper Hunter Michael Johnsen said work on the eight-kilometre bypass was expected to start in mid-2023 and be completed by late 2026, with lasting benefits for the community.
“This project is expected to support more than 1,370 jobs and we will draw on our local Singleton businesses and contractors to maximise the benefit of this activity,” Mr Johnsen said.
“We know how important it is to keep infrastructure and jobs in our regions as we continue the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Senator for New South Wales Perin Davey said the bypass would make an immense difference to not only locals but also the many travellers and tourists who frequent the region.
“This will benefit the thousands of motorists who travel along the New England Highway every day, especially freight and heavy vehicles,” Senator Davey said.
“This project will bring us another step closer to delivering a seamless highway for tourists and commercial vehicles, which are both so important to these local economies.”
Transport for NSW is currently finalising the concept design and will keep the community informed as the project progresses.
The $700 million project is jointly funded, with the Australian Government committing $560 million and the NSW Government providing the remaining funding.