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.

Singleton railway underpass
New England Highway at Gowrie Gates, with replacement rail bridge under construction

Updates and announcements

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

Changed traffic conditions will be in effect on the New England Highway at Gowrie from Monday 4 February until June 2019, weather permitting, during highway upgrade work following completion of the rail bridge replacement last year.

Traffic lanes will be temporarily realigned and narrowed to allow for highway widening work. Traffic on the New England Highway will be subject to occasional stoppages of up to three minutes during this work.

Traffic control and a reduced speed limit of 40km/h will be in place at times for the safety of workers and motorists. Motorists are advised to drive to the conditions and follow the direction of signs and traffic control.

Access to Maison Dieu Road from the New England Highway will be closed during this work to ensure the safety of motorists and workers, as well as to minimise any traffic delays on the New England Highway.

Alternative access to the McDougalls Hill area from the New England Highway is available via Magpie Street, which is around 1.5 km north of the Maison Dieu Road intersection.

Oversized vehicles are advised of narrowed lanes on the New England Highway at Gowrie until June 2019.

The vertical clearance limit for oversized vehicles has been returned to 5.4 metres.

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.

Timelapse videos

Timelapse video of the removal of the previous rail bridge and installation of the new bridge in November 2018:


Timelapse video of the bridge girder and plank installation work that was completed in September 2018:

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