Golden Highway upgrades

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

Updates and announcements

Comments on the concept designs for the proposed upgrades at Mudies Creek and Whittingham and Ogilvies Hill and Winery Hill closed on Wednesday 9 May 2018.

Community consultation reports for Mudies Creek and Whittingham (PDF, 11Mb) and Ogilvies Hill and Winery Hill (PDF, 7.78Mb) have been prepared outlining the issues raised and our responses. Feedback will be considered to finalise the detailed designs.

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 package of upgrades has been funded under 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.

To see the locations of the upgrades along the highway, view or download the Golden Highway upgrades overview map.

Work on the upgrades started in 2016 and all projects are expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

The NSW Government has also announced $85 million under the Rebuilding NSW Plan to upgrade the New England Highway between Belford and the Golden Highway intersection to improve traffic flow, travel times and safety for motorists.

Project overview

The package of upgrades includes:

  • Road rebuilding, shoulder widening, and clear zone work along 45 kilometres of the Golden Highway
  • Intersection improvements
  • 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

Denman Road intersection

Work started in May 2018 to upgrade the Golden Highway and Denman Road intersection, east of Denman. The upgrade involves:

  • Building a left turn and acceleration lane for westbound motorists
  • Providing a right turning lane for southbound motorists. This will allow eastbound motorists travelling through to Muswellbrook to safely pass by motorists waiting to turn right.
  • Widening the road shoulder from the intersection to the bridge across the Hunter River
  • Installing new lighting at the intersection to improve safety for all road users.

Work is expected to be completed by the end of August 2018. For more information please view the May 2018 project notification.

Road widening east of Denman

Work started in March 2018 to widen a 2.5 kilometre section of the highway between the bridge across Sandy Creek and the bridge across Hunter River, which will provide five metre clear zones on this stretch of road.

To prevent motorists from veering off into roadside hazards a total of 530 metres of safety barriers will be installed at six locations along this section of the highway and five trees will be removed. Work is expected to be completed by mid 2018.

Road rebuilding at Gungal

Work started in February 2018 to rebuild the road surface and widen the road shoulders along a 2.3 kilometre section of the highway at Gungal, from 400 metres east of Westwood Road to 300 metres west of the Battery Rocks Rest Area. Work is expected to be completed by June 2018.

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 proposal involves building a new road crossing at Mudies Creek to withstand a one in 100 year flood.  A new 30 metre long bridge will be built over Mudies Creek and would be three metres higher than the current road level to improve travel reliability on the Golden Highway during flood events.

A six kilometre section of the highway between Whittingham and Mount Thorley will be upgraded. Improvements include providing a smoother road surface, wider road shoulders, five metre clear zones, safety barriers, and overtaking lanes in both directions to improve safety and traffic flow.

Work is currently underway on the detailed design and environmental assessment. For more information view or download the April 2018 project update.

Winery Hill and Ogilvies Hill

The project involves upgrading 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 improvements include:

  • Building overtaking lanes in both directions to improve safety and traffic flow
  • Rebuilding and realigning the road
  • Widening road shoulders
  • Drainage improvements and providing five metre clear zones along sections of the highway.

Work is currently underway on the detailed design and environmental assessment. For more information view or download the April 2018 project update.

Potential traffic impacts

Over the next two years there will be several major road projects in construction along the Golden Highway including:

  • Golden Highway and New England Highway intersection upgrade at Belford.
  • Upgrade between Mudies Creek and Whittingham
  • Overtaking lanes at Ogilvies Hill and Winery Hill near Jerry Plains

These construction activities will be disruptive for motorists, residents and stakeholders. Impacts may include:

  • Delays and disruptions to traffic flow and travel times due to lane closures and reduced speed limits through work zones
  • Detours at times via Range Road or Putty Road to help minimise traffic delays, improve worker safety and reduce the duration of the work
  • Restrictions in place at times for oversized vehicles.

Travel time delays may be significant with journeys expected to take up to an additional 30 minutes between Belford and Denman during some stages of construction for these major projects.

Motorists will be advised to plan their journeys ahead of time using the latest information on traffic conditions available by calling 132 701, visiting or downloading the Live Traffic NSW App. Signage will also be in place to advise motorists of changed traffic conditions along the highway.

Completed projects

  • Putty Road intersection
  • Mount Thorley interchange
  • Denman Level Crossing and Mangoola Road intersection upgrade
  • Denman Road widening
  • Warkworth Heavy Vehicle Stopping Bay.


Community consultation report - Mudies Creek and Whittingham

June 2018

Community consultation report - Ogilvies Hill and Winery Hill

June 2018

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