22 February 2024

Stage 1 of Barton Highway completed - speed limit back up to 100 km/h

| Sally Hopman
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Stage 1 of the Barton Highway has been completed, with road users now able to drive 100 km/h along most of the route from Canberra to southern NSW. Photo: File.

The first stage of the Barton Highway has been finished with motorists able to drive at 100 km/h again along the new dual carriageway – built at a cost of more than $24 million.

Widening of the highway, which links Canberra with southern NSW, has been three years in the making for motorists on a road mostly known for its high rate of accidents.

Transport for NSW spokeswoman Cassandra Ffrench said safety for motorists had been the main driver for the project, saying from 2018 to 2022, 60 crashes were recorded on the Barton Highway.

She said stage 1 of the project had delivered “safer, more efficient and more reliable travel for motorists and local residents.

“The 7 km of duplicated lanes and upgrades to the existing highway have delivered a two-lane southbound carriageway from north of the NSW/ACT border to south of Kaveneys Road,” Ms Ffrench said. “Included in this stage of the project is a central median separating the two carriageways, upgraded intersections and property access roads to the highway.”

She said dedicated facilities had also been provided to manage right-turn movements, as well as improvements to existing bus stops at Spring Range and Nanima roads.

READ ALSO Why the Barton Highway continues to drive us to distraction

Work on the expansion began three years ago, with many residents and users complaining about the time taken to complete the project.

During the life of stage 1 of the project, almost two tonnes of road pavement was installed, with 14.2 km of guard rail and 15.7 km of drainage pipes dug. The $24 million price tag was spent within a 100 km radius with more than 366,200 combined hours worked across the project.

Ms Ffrench thanked the local communities of Murrumbateman and Yass for their patience while the first stage of the work was being carried out, adding that the project team faced a number of challenges during the construction period, including the COVID pandemic and weather – with 287 days of wet weather or 3049 mm of rain falling in the area over the project.

Planning is underway for the second stage of the Barton Highway duplication, which will start at the northern end of the first stage, near Kaveneys Road, and extend north towards Gooda Creek Road.

Work on this section is expected to start in 2025.

More information about the Barton Highway project is available on the Transport for NSW website.

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Yes I was stuck at 80kph on the new, safe, divided section. Then back to 100 on the narrow windy dangerous bits. Ministry of Funny Walks, I think. It must be the SLOWEST road duplication in world history! Ho hum. That’s Oz for you.

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