Hexham Straight Widening project in NSW to support 750 jobs

Monica Gameng   |   November 20, 2021
Hexham Straight Widening (cr: Transport for NSW)

With the concept design released and the environmental assessment opened for community feedback, the Hexham Straight Widening project in New South Wales has taken a “leap forward” and is now a step closer to beginning construction. 

This significant upgrade project is being delivered as part of the $2 billion development that will extend the M1 Pacific Motorway to Raymond Terrace. 

“The M1 extension is another example of the Australian Government’s record $110 billion infrastructure investment plan delivering for communities. 

“This route is part of the National Land Transport Network and provides an important connection to the Port of Newcastle, ensuring goods and commodities can reach international markets and generate the export dollars Australia relies on,” Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said. 

Earlier this year, the community was asked to provide feedback on the initial design for the project and the recently released concept design takes this input into consideration where possible. 

Now, the community is asked to give Transport for NSW comments on the concept design as well as the Review of Environmental Factors (REF). In addition, the City of Newcastle is also inviting comments on the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) which highlights the potential impact on three small areas of land that are classified as coastal wetlands under the State’s planning rules. 

“A key issue raised by the community was related to improving traffic flow at the intersection of the Newcastle Inner City Bypass and Maitland Road, so the new design includes an additional left-turn lane northbound and off-road shared path at the intersection. 

“Transport for NSW also gave consideration to feedback about access along Old Maitland Road and Shamrock, Fenwick and Merchant streets, but the initial design was considered the safest option for residents and motorists,” NSW Minister for Transport and Roads Rob Stokes said. 

hexham-straight-widening-mapHexham Straight Widening project map (source: Transport for NSW)

The project will deliver an additional lane in both directions on a six-kilometre stretch of road to help improve traffic flow, reduce travel times for freight as well as improve road safety for all motorists, pedestrians and cyclists. 

Key features of the project include: 

  • Upgrades to the six kilometre section of the Pacific Highway between the Newcastle Inner City Bypass and Hexham Bridge 
  • Widening of the dial carriageway from two lanes to three lanes in each direction 
  • Demolition of the existing Ironbark bridge and construction of two new bridges at Ironbark Creek 
  • Minor intersection upgrades and property adjustments 
  • Utility relocation 

“It is among the busiest transport corridors in NSW – used by about 50,000 motorists a day and carrying some of the highest traffic volumes in the Hunter region. 

“The Hexham Straight proposal involves upgrading six kilometres of the existing highway from two to three lanes in each direction and building a new bridge across Ironbark Creek. 

“Not only will this reduce congestion during peak periods, providing improved traffic flow for commuters and freight alike, it’s estimated it will support 750 jobs during construction,” Senator for New South Wales Hollie Hughes said. 

The community can provide their feedback on the concept design, environmental assessment and Environmental Impact Statement until 14th December 2021. For more information, you can visit the project’s web portal here. 

The $2 billion M1 Pacific Motorway extension to Raymond Terrace is the final ‘missing link’ in a series of works that will deliver smoother journeys between the Victorian and Queensland borders. 

This project is jointly funded by the Australian and New South Wales Governments, each contributing $1.6 billion and $400 million respectively, and is anticipated to support 2,700 jobs. 

Source: Transport for NSW (1, 2, 3); Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional DevelopmentTransport for NSW – Hexham Straight Widening REF Web Portal 

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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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