Singleton Railway Underpass upgrade planning progresses

20 AUGUST 2015

Planning for the upgrade of the New England Highway and Singleton railway underpass has progressed with the review of environmental (REF) factors and submissions report now complete.

A Roads and Maritime Services spokesperson said $500,000 was allocated this financial year to continue planning for the upgrade which is aimed at improving safety, road capacity and road and rail freight access through the Hunter Valley.

“Roads and Maritime together with the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) is planning to upgrade the Singleton railway underpass, locally referred to as the Gowrie Gates,” the spokesperson said.

“The New England Highway through Singleton forms part of the National Land Transport Network connecting Newcastle with the Upper Hunter.

“The submissions report outlines issues raised by local stakeholders in response to the REF display for widening the Singleton railway underpass.

“Eight submissions were received from the community in response to the REF and some of the key issues raised include option analysis, funding, environmental impact, noise and vibration and urban design.

“The Main Northern Railway bridge across the highway restricts access for wide load heavy vehicles so planning includes widening the underpass on the New England Highway to improve road and rail freight access through the Hunter Valley.”

The Roads and Maritime spokesperson said the upgrade will provide continued light and heavy vehicle access to Singleton as this vital access would still be required when the future town bypass is built.

“The project includes replacing the rail bridge to provide increased highway width and to minimise disruptions to trains on the Main Northern Railway Line,” the spokesperson said.

“The widening work will provide two travel lanes with wide sealed shoulders to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety.

“Roads and Maritime is also proposing to build a temporary road about 20 metres south of the existing rail bridge to be used for short durations during scheduled rail track possessions to reduce the impact to road users.

“The temporary road aims to ensure motorists avoid a lengthy detour during rail track possessions.”

The REF and the submissions report are available on the Roads and Maritime website at www.rms.nsw.gov.au.

CONTACT: Roads and Maritime Services Media Unit: 8588 5999

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