Stage 1 of the long-awaited Barton Highway duplication project is starting to take shape, with work now underway on the southern connection at the NSW and ACT border.
Motorists and local residents should soon start seeing significant progress on the route with the upgraded works, the Federal Regional Development, Local Government and Territories Minister, and Member for Monaro, Kristy McBain said.
Ms McBain said work would be ”steaming ahead in the coming months”, with the focus now turning to construction of several intersections along a 7 km stretch as part of Stage 1.
“This will include the next section of stabilising gravel base material to go down, further intersection upgrades, developing the north and south connections to the existing highway as well as the start of placement of the new road surface.”
Just over 50 km long, the Barton Highway connects the Hume Highway near Yass and surrounding rural and residential areas to the ACT. It also forms a crucial part of the Melbourne-Canberra-Sydney freight corridor while locally, it connects the townships of Yass and Murrumbateman in NSW with employment, health and education facilities in Canberra.
It has long been considered an accident black spot for motorists, with an estimated 13,000 drivers using it daily. Drivers and residents have for some time called for its duplication to provide safer and more reliable access to Canberra.
The Federal Government has committed $150 million towards Stage 1 and 2 of the project, while the NSW Government has funded $50 million for the upgrade. The funding is being utilised across both stages, with the Barton Highway Upgrade Package (Stage 1) already under construction and the Barton Highway Corridor Upgrade (Stage 2) in planning.
NSW Regional Transport and Roads Minister Sam Farraway described the planned duplication of the Barton Highway as “a game-changer” for the locals, visitors and freight carriers travelling between NSW and the ACT daily.
“This is one of the busiest stretches of road for the region,” he said. “The NSW Government is securing a brighter future for NSW families by duplicating the Barton Highway to ensure a safer and smoother journey for all road users.”
State Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman said once completed, the highway would transform travel for people who live near Yass, Murrumbateman and Gunning and travel to and from the ACT.
“We have seen a huge amount of progress recently with extensive drainage works now complete,” she said. “It is exciting to see this duplication take shape and I know it will make a huge difference and ensure a better, more efficient connection to the ACT.”
Work on the southern connection at the border began last week. It will be carried out between 7 am and 6 pm daily and from 8 am to 1 pm on Saturdays, excluding public holidays. The work is scheduled for completion in early 2023.
Early planning of Stage 2 of the highway upgrade is also underway, with Aboriginal cultural consultation continuing for the next stretch of works.
Staff from Transport for NSW will be at this year’s Murrumbateman Field Days on 15 and 16 October to provide more details about the duplication project.
More information is also available on the Transport for NSW website.