Muswellbrook bypass – New England Highway

Roads and Maritime Services is planning for a future bypass of Muswellbrook.

Updates and announcements

In March 2015, the NSW Government announced $68 million through the Rebuilding NSW Infrastructure Plan to get the bypass ready for construction. The NSW Government has allocated $3.1 million in 2016-17 to continue planning.

As part of planning activities, we are reviewing the strategic design of the preferred route in view of the changes in land use and the mining sector since it was displayed in 2005. Other activities include survey, geotechnical assessment and community engagement.

Timing for construction of the bypass has not been confirmed. At least four years of planning is required before construction could start.

Project background

The New England Highway is part of the National Land Transport Network in NSW.

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 has selected a preferred option for the route. The preferred route corridor has been included in Muswellbrook Shire Council's Local Environment Plan (LEP) and preserved for the future bypass.

Only one viable option was identified due to the significant constraints in the area such as coal mining activities, council landfill, residential development and local geography.

View or download the 2005 map of the proposal.

Project objectives

The bypass would have significant benefits including:

  • Removing conflicts between local traffic and through traffic in the Muswellbrook town centre
  • Removing heavy vehicle traffic away from the town centre and nearby residential areas
  • Reducing traffic noise levels in the town
  • Improving travel times on the New England Highway.
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