The Hunter Expressway

The Hunter Expressway opened to traffic on 22 March 2014. Jointly funded by the Australian and NSW governments, the 40 kilometres of dual carriageway has improved travel time for motorists between Newcastle and the Upper Hunter.

The Hunter Expressway
The Hunter Expressway

Updates and announcements

A Post Construction Noise Assessment (PDF, 31Mb) has been carried out and concluded the noise levels of the completed project are consistent with those predicted. Based on the findings, the noise mitigation measures implemented during construction are considered appropriate and no additional measures are required.

Project background

The Australian Government provided $1.5 billion and the NSW Government up to $200 million to build the Hunter Expressway. This dual carriageway freeway provides an east-west connection between Newcastle and the Lower Hunter. The Hunter Expressway was designed to accommodate long-term development and growth in the Hunter Region in the coming decades.

Delivered under two contracts, the expressway is made up of:

  • Six grade separated interchanges at the M1 Pacific Motorway, Buchanan, Kurri Kurri, Loxford, Allandale and Branxton
  • 40 kilometres of dual carriageway freeway
  • 52 bridges, including almost 800 metres of high bridges (viaducts) through the Sugarloaf Range
  • One kilometre reconstruction of the South Maitland Railway line, which includes a new railway bridge.

Project benefits

The Hunter Expressway has greatly improved travel times for motorists between the M1 Newcastle interchange and Branxton, with a significant reduction in motorists and heavy vehicles using the New England Highway, especially through East Maitland, Maitland and Lochinvar. Some notable improvements include:

  • Travel time for motorists between the M1 Newcastle interchange and Branxton has improved by about 25 minutes.Traffic on the New England Highway has been reduced by between 5000 to 8000 vehicles per day
  • The number of heavy vehicles travelling on the New England Highway through towns such as Maitland and Branxton has reduced by about 40 per cent in the three years to 2016
  • There has been congestion relief on the New England Highway between Weakleys Drive and Branxton.

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