The much-talked-about widening of the busy Hexham Straight freight corridor in NSW is a step closer, although no one is quite sure yet when the work will actually begin.
Transport for NSW (TfNSW) is developing the six-kilometre widening project, which would see the Maitland Road section of the Pacific Highway in the Hunter widened to three lanes in both directions.
TfNSW tells us it received 45 submissions during the recently concluded public consultation phase, although it couldn’t tell us what ideas it had from the freight sector, if any, for confidentiality reasons.
However, a spokesperson tells us that key ideas include:
- Demolition and replacement of the existing bridge over Ironbark Creek
- Relocation of public utilities
- U-turn facilities on Sparke Street, Shamrock Street and Old Maitland Road
- Modifications to existing intersections along the route
- Improved cyclist and pedestrian connectivity
So what happens next?
“We will continue developing the concept design and environmental assessment, considering the community feedback received,” said the TfNSW.
“We plan to display the environmental assessment for community feedback later this year. We will continue keep the community informed as the project progresses.
“Timing of construction is not confirmed and is dependent on a range of factors including planning approval.”
The Hexham Straight widening will be delivered as part of the Australian and NSW governments’ commitment to deliver the M1 Pacific Motorway extension to Raymond Terrace and surrounding upgrades.
The Australian Government has committed $1.6 billion and the NSW Government $400 million to build both projects.