New England Highway bypass of Scone

Roads and Maritime Services is building a New England Highway bypass of Scone to improve traffic flow, travel times and safety for road users.

Updates and announcements

Shortlisted companies have been invited to submit tenders to construct the Scone bypass. We expect to award the contract before the end of 2017.

The Australian and NSW governments have committed $120 million for construction of the Scone bypass.

Project background

The New England Highway south of Scone carries 8,400 vehicles a day, peaking in town at 14,000. Around 8,000 vehicles use the Kelly Street crossing every day, including 1,200 heavy vehicles.

There is a poor crash history on this four kilometre section of highway, with 26 crashes in the five years to December 2015.

Project objectives and features

The bypass will remove a large number of heavy vehicles from the town centre. This will result in improved:

  • traffic flow and amenity for local traffic
  • travel times for freight and long distance traffic
  • safety for all road users.

The bypass also provides an alternative route for road users wanting to travel across town unimpeded by rail operations.

Key features of the upgrade include:

  • a two lane highway bypass to the west of Scone passing through the Scone Golf Course
  • two bridges – one over the rail line south of Scone, and another over Kingdon and Liverpool streets
  • access to and from the bypass to the north and south of town and midway at St Aubins Street providing for all turning movements

Please view or download the bypass design map.

Community engagement

The environmental assessment for the bypass was displayed for community feedback from December 2015 to February 2016. A total of 211 submissions were received in response to the public display. Roads and Maritime thanks the community for providing feedback and remaining actively engaged by sharing their thoughts on a number of occasions throughout the planning process.

A number of changes were made to the design as a result of the feedback received. Changes include providing a grade-separated southern interchange and returning all vehicle turning movements to the northern intersection. The changes improve road safety, connectivity and access for passing trade.

We have published a submissions report summarising community comments, our responses and details of changes made to the design after feedback from the community during the display period.

Scone rail bridge

In April 2014 the Australian and NSW governments announced the preferred option for the future upgrade of the New England Highway at Scone would include a highway bypass and a road over rail bridge.

Three town centre rail bridge strategic options were presented to the community for feedback from December 2015 to February 2016. A total of 187 submissions were received during the public display about the three options for the rail bridge. There was limited support for the displayed options with some submissions questioning the need for the rail bridge once the bypass is completed and others suggesting a bridge over the rail line to the north of town may be more appropriate. We have published a community consultation report which summarises community feedback and our responses to the issues raised.

Roads and Maritime is continuing to work with Upper Hunter Shire Council to consider options for the rail bridge and expect to provide an update to the community in 2017.

Next steps

The environmental assessment for the bypass was finalised in April 2016. This means the proposed bypass has been approved and detailed design is progressing well.

Roads and Maritime will continue to keep the community informed as the project progresses.

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