Muswellbrook bypass – New England Highway

The NSW Government is providing $266 million to fund a New England Highway bypass of Muswellbrook. The bypass would improve travel times for long haul freight movements and safety for all road users.

Updates and announcements

As part of the planning process, we have carried out investigations to identify an economically viable option which meets funding requirements. The findings can be found in the New England Highway Muswellbrook Bypass Options Report (PDF, 14.7Mb). The options report reaffirms the preserved corridor in Muswellbrook Shire Council’s Local Environment Plan (LEP), with minor route changes to improve the economic viability of the bypass.

We are currently working towards completing the concept design and environmental assessment.

The first step is selecting a preferred option generally within the preferred route corridor. The preferred option for the proposed bypass will be displayed for community feedback in early 2020.

We will then develop the concept design and environmental assessment for future community feedback.

We expect construction to start in 2022, subject to project approval.

Project background

The New England Highway is part of the inland Sydney to Brisbane National Land Transport Network and the primary route connecting the Upper Hunter with Maitland and Newcastle.

In 1998 Roads and Maritime carried out a route selection study for a proposed Muswellbrook bypass. Three options were displayed from December 2000 to February 2001. These options are no longer viable, largely due to mining activities in the area.

The Australian Government selected a preferred option for the route in 2005. In 2009 the preferred route corridor was included in Muswellbrook’s LEP and preserved for the future bypass.

The New England Highway Muswellbrook Bypass Options Report reaffirms the corridor preserved in Muswellbrook’s LEP, with minor route changes to improve the economic viability of the option.

Project objectives

The bypass would have significant benefits including:

  • Improve network efficiency on the New England Highway, particularly travel times for long haul freight movements
  • Improve safety for all road users in the town centre, particularly relating to heavy and light vehicle interactions
  • Improve amenity of Muswellbrook township.

Project documents

 

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