New England Highway upgrade and rail bridge replacement at Gowrie Gates

Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) is upgrading the Singleton railway underpass. The new rail bridge and widened highway will improve road and rail freight access through the Hunter Valley.
The NSW Government is funding part of the upgrade.

Side road diversion in place at Gowrie Gates during heavy lift crane operations to install the new bridge girders
Side road diversion in place at Gowrie Gates during heavy lift crane operations to install the new bridge girders

Updates and announcements

Construction is under way and is expected to be completed in 2020, weather permitting.

Oversized vehicles are advised a reduced vertical clearance of 5 metres is in place on the New England Highway at Gowrie until April 2019.

Oversized vehicles that have previously been able to travel through this area may need to detour via the Golden Highway and Denman Road during this period.

Work to place the new bridge girders and planks was successfully completed in mid-September. We thank road users and the community for their patience in using the side road diversion that enabled closure of the New England Highway during this intensive period of work. See a time lapse video of this work:

The next rail possession period and use of the side road diversion is scheduled to take place from 19 to 23 November. Specific details including any impacts on road users will be provided closer to this time.

Project background

The New England Highway through Singleton is part of the National Land Transport Network and is the main arterial connection between Newcastle and the Upper Hunter.

The Main North Line rail bridge over the highway north of Singleton, known as Gowrie Gates, restricts access for wide load heavy vehicles.

The existing rail bridge will be replaced with a new bridge which provides increased horizontal clearance. This will allow widening of the highway to accommodate two travel lanes with wide sealed shoulders and facilities for pedestrians and cyclists.

The upgrade will provide for continued light and heavy vehicle access to Singleton. Freight access would still be required if a future bypass of the town is built.

The upgrade is jointly funded by ARTC and the NSW Government with Daracon Group delivering the upgrade under a contract with ARTC.

Key features

  • New rail bridge over the New England Highway providing a minimum 5.4 metre vertical clearance
  • Rebuilding and widening about 260 metres of the New England Highway to provide two 3.5 metre lanes
  • Providing three metre shoulders through this section of highway to bring the road up to current road safety standards
  • Relaying up to 200 metres of rail track.

Project objectives

  • Improve access and travel times for over-sized heavy vehicles on the New England Highway
  • Minimise disruptions to heavy vehicles on the highway and trains on the Main North Line
  • Improve road safety for all road users.
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