New England Highway - Tenterfield heavy vehicle bypass
The New England Highway is the major link from the Hunter Region to the New England area and beyond. The Australian Government has committed $6 million for the planning of a heavy vehicle bypass at Tenterfield and upgrade and safety improvements at Bolivia Hill as part of the Nation Building Program. The Tenterfield heavy vehicle bypass project will aim to identify a preferred New England Highway corridor route for a heavy vehicle bypass of the town.
Tenterfield is located on the Great Dividing Range at the northern end of the New England Tableland and at the intersection of the New England and Bruxner highways. The existing highway passes through Tenterfield's central business district, causing traffic and safety issues from the mix of heavy vehicle and through traffic with local trips and pedestrian activity. Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) has engaged GHD to investigate route options and recommend a preferred heavy vehicle bypass of Tenterfield. Investigations will include extensive community consultation with local residents, council, and key stakeholders.
The preferred bypass route will need to consider how to achieve the following objectives.
- Improve road safety.
- Improve road transport productivity, efficiency and reliability of travel.
- Minimise the impact on the natural, cultural and built environment.
- Provide sustainable economic outcomes for the local community.
- Minimise social impact on the local community.
- Provide value for money.
Investigations will include:
- Assessing previous studies undertaken.
- Confirming the benefits of a heavy vehicle bypass of Tenterfield.
- Undertaking extensive community consultation.
- Undertaking environmental and heritage assessments.
- Developing corridor options.
- Finalise a preferred option.
Although construction funding has not been allocated, it is important to plan now for a heavy vehicle bypass. This provides certainty for the future development of Tenterfield. Extensive community involvement will continue throughout the route identification and assessment stages.