Hume upgrade fast-tracked


Project to deliver first dual lane highway from Sydney to Melbourne will be completed six months ahead of schedule

A project to drastically improve traffic conditions on the Hume Highway and remove trucks from local streets is expected to finish six months ahead of schedule.

Work will soon begin on the design and construction of the two of three remaining Tarcutta and Woomargama bypasses, signaling a shorter completion date for the first ever dual carriageway highway from Sydney to Melbourne.

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese today tasked an alliance of Leighton Contractors, Maunsell Australia, SMEC Australia and Coffey Geotechnics to design and build the 7 kilometres of the Tarcutta project.

"Abigroup and Sinclair Knight Metz will join forces to form a second alliance team to deliver the 9 kilometre bypass to the west of Woomargama village," Albanese says.

By awarding the contracts, Albanese says the project will be completed in late 2011 rather than mid-way through 2012.

NSW Minister for Roads Michael Daley says planning is progressing, with construction expected to begin later this year.

"Construction of these bypasses will deliver significant benefits to the communities of Tarcutta and Woomargama, taking up to 2,000 trucks a day off their local streets," Daley says

"Once completed, the new bypasses will cut travel times and make the highway safer for the thousands of motorists who use it every day."

The move to fast-track the process stems from the Rudd Government’s decision to bring forward $490 million in funding as part of its Nation Building Program.

An environmental assessment is still being undertaken into the final bypass at Holbrook, with the Government expecting it to be approved by the end of the year.

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