Michael Johnsen MP, Member for Upper Hunter today announced the $29 million upgrade of the New England Highway and rail bridge at Gowrie Gates in Singleton has been completed, improving road and rail freight access through the Hunter.
Mr Johnsen said the NSW Government and Australian Rail Track Corporation jointly funded the project to upgrade the rail bridge, widen the New England Highway and provide a new shared path and facilities for cyclists and pedestrians.
“Around 22,000 vehicles travel through Gowrie Gates every day, including more than 400 heavy vehicles,” Mr Johnsen said.
“Widening this section of the New England Highway and replacing the rail bridge has improved access for oversized heavy vehicles as well as increased safety for all road users and is part of a broader strategy to provide rail network reliability.”
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the upgrade reflected the NSW Government’s commitment to improving traffic flow and freight productivity and reducing travel times through the Hunter.
“We are delivering important infrastructure for regional communities that makes it easier and more efficient to get around,” Mr Toole said.
Mr Toole said the project had been completed several months early – the third project to be completed ahead of schedule in the Hunter region in the past 12 months.
“The duplication of Tourle Street and Cormorant Road in June 2018 and the M1 Upgrade at the Weakleys Drive intersection in March 2019 were both delivered ahead of schedule.”
ARTC Group Executive Jonathan Vandervoort said the Gowrie Gates project would improve access and travel times for over-dimension freight movements on the New England Highway.
“The project has a new minimum 5.4 metre vertical clearance at the rail bridge and will help minimise freight disruptions along the highway,” Mr Vandervoort said.
“It will also improve the movement of bulk coal on the Main North railway line, a vital transport link which carries one of NSW’s most valuable export commodities.
“Upgrade work on a 260-metre section of the highway has provided two 3.5-metre lanes and wide shoulders at the underpass, to meet current road safety standards.
“We would like to thank the community for its patience and support during the delivery of this project.”