Upgrade works essential for flood resilience, freight access

The new Mudies Creek Bridge will improve travel reliability on the Golden Highway during flood events according to the Deputy Prime Minister.

As part of the $113 million road safety investment in the region, the Golden Highway upgrade will see the Australian and NSW Government jointly fund the $16 million Mudies Creek Bridge build, while the New England Highway upgrade will see the NSW Government invest $97 million to improve safety between Belford and the Golden Highway.

“This will involve building a new 30-metre-long bridge over Mudies Creek, three metres above the current road level and high enough to withstand a one-in-100-year flood,” said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack.

“This upgrade is another example of how we are working to deliver better road safety and productivity benefits for the Upper Hunter region and New South Wales as a whole,” he said.

NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Paul Toole, said the NSW Government was investing $97 million to improve safety, travel times and traffic flow on the New England Highway.

“More than 22,000 motorists travel along this section of the highway each day, including about 2000 freight vehicles, which is why progress on this upgrade is so important,” said Toole.

“We know how important projects like these are to local communities, not only when delivered, but also during construction, with these upgrades expected to support about 280 jobs,” he said.

Federal Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, said the new bridge on the Golden Highway would make a huge difference to the lives of locals who use the road every day.

“This project, carried out as part of a package of work being delivered on the Golden Highway between Whittingham and Dubbo, will improve safety, traffic efficiency, network reliability and freight access,” said Joyce.

“This will be a game-changer for locals and tourists because in heavy downpours, they’ll have peace of mind that they can still get to where they want, when they want,” he said.

NSW Member for Upper Hunter, Michael Johnsen, said both upgrades would strengthen efficiency and productivity along the highways.

“Transport for NSW is inviting interested and suitably qualified companies to submit a tender to build the upgrades,” said Johnsen.

“This involves upgrading the New England Highway to provide two travel lanes in each direction from Belford to the Golden Highway, and building a flyover for vehicles turning right from the Golden Highway towards Maitland and Newcastle,” he said.

Tenders will close in January 2021, with the successful contractor announced next year.

Work on the projects is expected to start in 2021, and take about three years to complete, weather permitting.