Barton Highway

The Australian and NSW governments are providing $100 million ($50 million each) over four years to upgrade the Barton Highway. The upgrade will improve journey reliability, ease congestion, improve driver safety and boost freight productivity. The funding is being used to fund the short term investment priorities nominated in the Barton Highway Improvement Strategy.

This includes duplicating the highway from the ACT border towards Murrumbateman. Current investigations are focused on maximising the length of duplication with the budget commitment.

Updates and announcements

Pop-up information sessions

We are currently planning for duplication of the Barton Highway from the ACT border towards Murrumbateman.

We will be at the Murrumbateman Village Market to answer your questions and provide further information.

  • When: Saturday 28 July 2018
  • Where: Recreation Grounds, Murrumbateman
  • Time: Drop in any time between 9am and 1pm

We will also be at the Yass Community Market in August.

  • When: Saturday 18 August
  • Where: St Augustine‚Äôs Hall, Meehan Street, Yass
  • Time: Drop in any time between 10am and 1pm

We look forward to seeing you there.

What have we been up to?

Over the last few months we have been carrying out field investigations to help prepare the road design for duplication from the ACT border towards Murrumbateman.

These investigations include:

  • Geotechnical work to help us understand conditions underground
  • Survey work to mark road and property boundaries and locate utilities such as electricity cables
  • Flora and fauna studies
  • Noise assessments
  • Heritage walk throughs to identify locations or artefacts of cultural or historical value.

We thank you for your patience during this important work. We will be in touch if we need access to private property to carry out further investigations.

Project update May 2018

A project update (PDF, 534Kb) is now available to view or download.

Barton Highway safety upgrades

The work has been split into four packages:

The four packages of work
The four packages of work

See updates about each package and what we are doing to progress the work:

Package one

Duplication of the Barton Highway from the ACT border towards Murrumbateman

In early December 2017, the Australian and NSW governments announced there was sufficient funding to duplicate a section of the Barton Highway.

The section of highway from the ACT border Murrumbateman was identified for immediate duplication. The existing highway will become the southbound carriageway and the new lanes will be the northbound carriageway.

During detailed design we will be working with the road construction industry to maximise the length of duplication that can be delivered with the available funding.

We are currently carrying out preliminary field investigations as part of the concept design phase for this package. This includes:

  • Engineering surveys
  • Geotechnical investigations in both the existing road and proposed new road
  • Utility investigations to identify any gas, water, telecommunications cables and electricity assets
  • Social and economic impacts such as noise, severance, access and urban design
  • Flora, fauna and heritage impact assessments

In parallel with the field investigations, work is under way preparing plans for construction including:

  • Road safety benefits
  • Traffic and transport benefits, including benefits to commuters, as well as impacts to traffic flows
  • Flooding impacts
  • Property acquisition and access
  • Engineering factors such as ease of construction and staging opportunities
  • Project costs and value for money

It is anticipated the concept design phase will be completed by September 2018 and the process to engage a contractor to carry out the final design and construction will be under way.

Detailed design will focus on the design of technical aspects, such as culverts, bridges, drains, signs, lines, intersections and property access.

Once detailed design has been completed in 2019, it is anticipated that construction of the duplication section will start in mid to late 2019.

Package two

Concept planning and environmental assessment for future duplication of the Barton Highway from package one to Murrumbateman

While current funding does not extend to construction of this section, early planning will be crucial to ensuring we are prepared if future funding becomes available.

Similar to package one, we will be carrying out concept planning and some environmental assessment to examine potential impacts. This will include geotechnical, engineering, road safety and environmental investigations.

It is anticipated the concept design for package two will be completed in mid 2020 and be informed by the business case.

Package three

Strategic business case for future duplication of the whole length of the Barton Highway

We are preparing a business case for the future duplication of the whole Barton Highway. A business case is an agency internal document that determines priorities for future work as funding becomes available.

The business case involves a series of technical investigations, including strategic duplication design, traffic data and modelling, and cost benefit analysis to develop a prioritised approach to future duplication.

The business case is expected to be completed in September 2018.

Package four

Safety work

Improving clear zones, delineation and signage

Safety work started in November 2017 and included upgrading signs, adjusting line marking and installing 1.7 kilometres of safety barrier.  Some tree trimming and vegetation clearing was also carried out.

In early 2018 we restarted work to install 4.7 kilometres of safety barrier at various locations along the highway. This work was completed in May 2018.

Some mature tree removal and stormwater drainage improvements will start later in the year, however further environmental assessment needs to occur before work starts.

Where possible, we have been working at night to reduce the impact to motorists.

Improving bus stop locations

Bus stop locations are currently being reviewed to determine options for improvements, including possible relocation. We will be consulting with council and bus operators to understand safety issues from a community perspective.

Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS)

ITS may include traffic monitoring devices, closed circuit television (CCTV) and variable message signs (VMS) at strategic locations to inform of changed traffic conditions affecting travel time, variability, road conditions, and road closures in a timely manner.

A project team has been formed to deliver a strategy for implementing ITS in line with future duplication of the Barton Highway.

This involves completing a feasibility study to identify suitable locations and to consider, environment, property, power, communications and constructability. 

A draft feasibility study is currently being reviewed.

Improving access for vulnerable road users (cyclists, pedestrians) in Murrumbateman village

We will be investigating options to improve access for cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders within Murrumbateman village. Development of these options will include consultation with council and community.

Intersection upgrades

All intersections on the Barton Highway will be assessed to determine options for improvements. Design and some environmental assessment will need to occur.

Road safety campaigns

Targeted road safety campaigns will complement the packages of work. The campaigns will address road safety issues such as driver fatigue and tail gating, speeding, driver distraction and roadwork safety.

Collaboration will occur with council and police as the campaigns are rolled out.

Access to properties

As part of planning for current and future duplication of the Barton Highway, we will need to carry out field investigations, including survey, geotechnical testing and utility searches. These investigations will help us better design the road and understand the impacts on various environmental and community concerns.

We will also need to carry out environmental investigations, such as biodiversity and specialist studies to investigate flora and fauna, including threatened species, visual design, hydrology, noise assessments, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal cultural heritage investigations, which will be used when developing the concept design.

Although many investigations will be carried out in the road reserve, we may need to access private properties in order to complete this work.

If we need to access your property, we will contact you directly to explain why we need to enter your property and will ask you to complete a property access agreement. The access agreement will help us understand your needs, reducing any possible disturbances to you or your property and ensuring that we address any special considerations or conditions of entry.

What happens next?

Concept planning for packages one and two has begun.

We have started engineering survey work, geotechnical and utility investigations at various locations along the Barton Highway corridor from the ACT border to Murrumbateman.

Aboriginal cultural heritage investigations will also take place.

We will soon be contacting key stakeholders to help develop solutions to improve pedestrian safety in Murrumbateman and bus stops along the highway.

Involving the community

We will work with Yass Valley Council, property owners, residents, businesses, farmers, road users and other key stakeholders during the planning and construction process.

Your comments and suggestions are welcome.

We will keep the community informed about project progress on our website and facebook page, by distributing newsletters and holding information kiosks in local towns.

If you would like to be included in an email distribution group to receive information, please email

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