Golden Highway upgrades

Roads and Maritime Services is delivering a four year package of upgrades on the Golden Highway between the Upper Hunter and Dubbo, to improve safety, traffic efficiency, network reliability and freight access.

Project background

The Golden Highway is a 313 kilometre long rural highway, mostly with single lanes, connecting the New England Highway at Belford in the Hunter Valley to the Newell Highway at Dubbo via Denman, Merriwa and Dunedoo.

The route has been identified as an important connection between the Central West and the Port of Newcastle. There is also a State target to facilitate the movement of high productivity vehicles on the highway in the long term due to the constraints that make such a connection between the Central West and Sydney via the Great Western Highway less cost effective.

A corridor study was developed to assist Transport for NSW prioritise improvements targeting freight access, road safety, asset condition and traffic efficiency.

The work identified in the corridor strategy has been funded through the NSW Government’s Regional Freight Pinch Point and Safety Program and the Australian Government’s Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Package.

The NSW Government is providing $109 million funding, with an additional $24 million funding from the Australian Government, for the package of upgrades.

Work on the upgrades started in 2016 and all projects are expected to be completed by the end of 2019.

Project overview

The package of work includes:

  • Road rebuilding, shoulder widening, and clear zone work along 45 kilometres of the Golden Highway
  • Upgrades to seven intersections
  • Acceleration lanes to improve the efficiency of through movements on the Golden Highway at Putty Road and Denman Road
  • Flood immunity work at Mudies Creek and Uarbry Creek
  • Railway level crossing upgrade at Denman
  • Three heavy vehicle enforcement stations
  • Three sets of overtaking lanes
  • Program of improvements to heavy vehicle rest areas and stopping bays.

Projects underway

Heavy vehicle stopping bays

A program of improvements to heavy vehicle stopping bays is being gradually delivered along the Golden Highway. Three existing stopping bays will be upgraded, with seven new stopping bays also being built. Work involves resurfacing, line marking and sign posting, and installation of new picnic shelters and bins.

Upcoming key projects

Whittingham and Mudies Creek

The Whittingham and Mudies Creek project involves improvements to the road crossing at Mudies Creek to withstand a one in 20 year flood, which will improve resilience during flood events and improve travel reliability on the Golden Highway.

An eight kilometre section of the highway between Whittingham and Mount Thorley will be upgraded including rebuilding travel lanes and widening shoulders. Work will also involve providing an eastbound and westbound overtaking lane and improving clear zones on this section of the highway.

Work is currently underway on the concept design and environmental assessment.

Winery Hill and Ogilvies Hill

The project includes a two kilometre section of the Golden Highway near Ogilvies Hill and a seven kilometre section between Bowmans Crossing and Saddlers Creek, approximately nine kilometres west of Jerrys Plains.

The project involves rebuilding and realigning the road, shoulder widening and drainage improvements along sections of the highway.  Work will also involve providing five metre clear zones along sections of the highway.

Travel efficiency will be improved at both Winery Hill and Ogilvies Hill by providing improved overtaking opportunities with eastbound and westbound overtaking lanes, new signage and line marking.

Work is currently underway on the concept design and environmental assessment.

Completed projects

  • Putty Road intersection
  • Mount Thorley interchange
  • Denman Level Crossing and Mangoola Road intersection upgrade
  • Denman Road widening.
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