Major works begin on Hunter Expressway

Major works have started on the western section of the NSW Hunter Expressway

April 20, 2011

Major works have started on the western section of the NSW Hunter Expressway to reduce traffic times and alleviate the burden on the New England Highway.

Construction teams will upgrade 27km of the expressway under a $1.65 billion project funded by the federal and NSW governments.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese says the upgrade will cut travel times between Newcastle and Branxton by half an hour and take up to 30,000 vehicles a day off the New England Highway.

"This project is of great significance for the people of the Hunter and when completed will provide a vital east-west connection between Newcastle and the Lower Hunter," NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell says.

NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay says work on the eastern section of the project started in August last year and the entire project is scheduled to be finished and open to traffic by the end of 2013.

He says the western upgrade will deliver 27km of four lane road, four interchanges, five twin bridges and eight bridges.

Furthermore, Gay says heavy vehicle rest areas for eastbound and westbound traffic will be built, along with fauna fences and underpasses.

"Now major work has started, there will be a variety of projects in the coming months including the building of temporary roads to move traffic as well as building and upgrading access tracks within the project boundary," he says.

The $1.65 billion Hunter Expressway project will upgrade the route between the F3 Freeway near Seahampton and the New England Highway west of Branxton.

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