Roads and Maritime is planning to upgrade the New England Highway between Belford and the Golden Highway to provide two travel lanes in each direction and a flyover for vehicles turning right from the Golden Highway towards Maitland and Newcastle.
The NSW Government has announced $85 million under the Rebuilding NSW Plan for the upgrade to improve traffic flow, travel times and safety for motorists.
The New England Highway is part of the inland route of the Sydney to Brisbane National Land Transport Network and the primary route connecting the Upper Hunter with Maitland and Newcastle. The Golden Highway connects the New England Highway at Whittingham with Dubbo.
These road corridors are designated B-Double routes and are used extensively by heavy vehicles servicing coal mining, grain production and other industries in the Hunter Valley and the Central West to access the port of Newcastle.
The New England Highway is a critical connection between the urban and employment centres of Maitland and Singleton, which are planned future growth areas for the Hunter region.
Around 22,000 vehicles travel along the New England Highway between Belford and the Golden Highway each day. This section of the New England Highway is currently two lanes westbound and one lane eastbound and has a history of crashes, particularly near the Golden Highway intersection.
The proposed upgrade includes:
The proposed upgrade would:
The next step will be to progress the concept design and environmental assessment, which are expected to be displayed for community comment in late 2016.