$268.8m funding locked in for NSW Muswellbrook bypass project

Monica Gameng   |   April 19, 2022
Muswellbrook bypass (cr: Transport for NSW)

The Muswellbrook bypass on the New England Highway in New South Wales will soon become a reality after locking in $268.8 million in funding from the Australian Government. 

This significant investment is part of the new Energy Security and Regional Development Plan that will see the Commonwealth Government investing $750 million in the Hunter region, transforming it into a next generation export hub. 

The State Government, on the other hand, is contributing $67.2 million towards the project – an 80:20 funding split between the Australian and New South Wales Governments. 

“Our Government is building the infrastructure that will make our nation wealthier and stronger. 

“The Hunter region is home to some of our most valuable commodities. Building the Muswellbrook bypass will ensure these products continue flowing smoothly and safely to our ports. 

“The sooner our valuable commodities are loaded onto boats and sent overseas, the sooner we get paid and the stronger we become. That is why we are investing in this critical transport route,” Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said. 

The $268.8 million funding commitment for the delivery of the Muswellbrook bypass builds on the joint investment in the New England Highway, taking the total to more than $1.1 billion. 

Investment on the New England Highway include the $137 million Scone bypass that was completed ahead of schedule in 2020 and a $700 million commitment to deliver the Singleton bypass that is on track to begin construction in 2023. 

“The New England Highway is a major freight and commuter route, and these bypasses will remove through traffic, dramatically reduce congestion and return local streets to the community,” NSW Deputy Premier Paul Toole said. 

Once completed, the proposed bypass will help reduce the number of heavy vehicles passing through Muwellbrook while also improving safety and amenity within the township. 

According to NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway, the Muswellbrook bypass will improve the driving experience for all road users. 

“Between 11,000 and 20,000 vehicles pass through Muswellbrook each day, about 13 per cent of which are heavy vehicles. 

“We will upgrade the currently predominately two-lane road, improving trip times and safety by avoiding numerous intersections, varying speed limits and nearby buildings with minimal setback from the road. 

“The Muswellbrook bypass will lower costs for business and bolster our supply chains by improving travel times for long-haul freight movements thanks to a free-flowing, 100-kilometre-per-hour alternative route,” Minister Farraway said. 

This project is testament that the Australian Government is committed to delivering the infrastructure that locals need and deserve. 

Through the 2022-23 Federal Budget, the Government has invested $8 million towards the $10 million critical planning works for the New England Highway duplication project between Muswellbrook and Singleton along with a $560 million funding for the $700 million Singleton Bypass. 

“This project is not our only commitment to get transport and freight around the Hunter more efficiently. 

“The Australian Government will continue to invest in and deliver the road infrastructure projects that matter to locals, tourists, businesses and freight operators. 

“Through our record $120 billion, 10-year infrastructure pipeline, the Nationals and Liberals are getting the job done,” Senator for New South Wales Perin Davey said. 

The project’s Review of Environmental Factors and concept design was released and displayed for community feedback in November 2021 and its submission report is due to be released in the coming months. 

Major construction on the Muswellbrook bypass project is anticipated to commence in early 2023 and be completed by late 2027. 

In addition to delivering much needed road infrastructure, the project will also support up to 720 direct and 1,090 indirect jobs over its life, creating opportunities for local businesses and suppliers as well as providing a significant boost to the Hunter region’s economy. 

Source: Transport for NSW (1, 2); Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development; Newcastle Weekly; Infrastructure Magazine; ABC News 

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Monica Gameng
As Felix's Marketing Assistant since 2015, Monica is responsible for researching and sharing new and progressing projects within the construction and mining sectors in Australia. It's no surprise that Monica has her finger on the pulse of Australian major projects given she has produced more than 1,000 posts. She truly is an industry expert.
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