Early talks have begun with the construction industry to help build the M1 Pacific Motorway extension to Raymond Terrace, which will be one of the Hunter’s biggest infrastructure projects.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Australian Government had committed $1.6 billion to build the extension and improve Hexham Straight, delivering safer and more efficient journeys for thousands of motorists.
“This shows how we’re planning for the future of our state road network and the significant growth between Sydney, Newcastle, the North Coast and Brisbane,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“The proposal addresses a key ‘missing link’ between Sydney and Brisbane as the existing M1 Motorway, New England Highway and Pacific Highway carry some of the highest traffic volumes across the Hunter.
“It will also deliver regional jobs, with 2,700 positions expected to be supported over the course of the project.”
NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the planned link would strike a balance between local and wider priorities.
“The community wants this upgrade to benefit them and we’re ensuring it delivers, not just for the 60,000 motorists who use the existing road every day, but for locals too,” Mr Toole said.
“The extension will reduce traffic volumes on the New England Highway and improve traffic flow and access for motorists travelling between Newcastle and Maitland.
“Improved access to and from key employment areas such as Heatherbrae, Tomago, Beresfield, Black Hill, the Port of Newcastle and Greater Newcastle will deliver substantial economic benefits for the region.”
Senator for New South Wales Hollie Hughes said more announcements would be made as planning progresses, and encouraged the community and stakeholders to comment on the Transport for NSW Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) which would be ready in 2021.
“The EIS allows the public to have their say on the refined designs and see how potential impacts on the environment are being managed,” Senator Hughes said.
“We’ve taken our time to plan this project effectively and I’m excited that it is moving forward because it will make our region an even better place to live, work and visit.”
Senator for New South Wales Perin Davey said the Market Interaction Process (MIP) would seek industry feedback on the best way forward for delivery of the project.
“We want to get the benefit of early interaction with the construction market so that we can get shovels in the ground sooner and the project delivered as quickly as possible,” Senator Davey said.
“The community has helped shape the design for the project and now we want to engage with the experts in the field to ensure we are well-positioned to deliver when planning approval is received.
“The procurement phase takes time on a big project like the M1 extension to Raymond Terrace, but early market engagement will help ensure the extension is delivered as efficiently as possible while providing the best transport solution.”
The project team will continue to inform the community about the project as it progresses.
The M1 Pacific Motorway extension to Raymond Terrace project is jointly funded by the Australian and NSW Governments.
For the latest information on the project and to view the refined designs, visit the M1 Pacific Motorway extension to Raymond Terrace webpage.