Over $600 million for New South Wales Roads
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Transport and Regional Services
Leader of the National Party
13th May 2003
The Federal Government will spend $645.8 million in 2003-04 on New South Wales roads, an increase of $66.7 million compared to 2002-03, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport and Regional Services, John Anderson said today.
"The NSW roads programme includes a 34.4 percent increase in funding for the Pacific Highway compared to 2002-03, continued work on the Western Sydney Orbital (WSO), and funding for an important new interchange on the New England Highway," Mr Anderson said.
Weakleys Drive Interchange
"I am very pleased to announce that the Government has budgeted $25.0 million over the next three years to fund a major upgrade to the intersection of the New England Highway and Weakleys Drive at Beresfield in the Lower Hunter Valley.
"We will provide $1.0 million a year for the project in 2003-04 and 2004-05 so the development and evaluation of options for the interchange can begin immediately. We have allocated $23.0 million for construction in 2005-06.
"Weakleys Drive links the New England Highway with the F3 Freeway at the northern end of Leneghans Drive. The junction is pivotal to transport flows across the Hunter region, especially freight movements. The congestion and safety of the junction require urgent attention, as a result of the high levels of growth in the nearby residential and industrial areas.
Building the Western Sydney Orbital
"The largest single investment in the Federal roads budget for New South Wales in 2003-04 is $62.1 million for the construction of the Western Sydney Orbital, the 40 km link road that will connect the M2 at West Baulkham Hills, the M4 at Eastern Creek and the M5 at Prestons. The Government's total commitment to the $1.5 billion freeway is $356 million, with the remainder being provided by the private sector.
"The successful tenderer, the WestLink consortium, has commenced work on the freeway, with initial work focussing on boundary fencing and service relocations. Major construction activities such as clearing and excavation are due to commence in June. It is expected the project will be opened to traffic in early 2007.
"The Government has commissioned an independent study to look into options for a new National Highway link from the Sydney Orbital to the F3 through northern Sydney, bypassing Pennant Hills Road. The original timetable for the study has been extended to the second half of 2003 to ensure all environmental, social and economic factors are considered fully by the consultants.
Widening the F3 to six lanes
"In 2003-04, the Government will spend a further $43 million of the $86 million we have committed to fast-track the widening of the F3 to six lanes between the Hawkesbury River and Calga.
"The project will provide a consistent three-lane travelling environment in each direction, which will improve traffic congestion and safety on a corridor that carries more than 60,000 motorists and 7,000 freight vehicles per day.
"Stage 1 of the project, a 2.5 km section from the Calga Interchange to Mt White, opened in October 2002 and has shown immediate benefits in easing traffic congestion. Tenders have been called for stage 2, the 8 km section from Hawkesbury River to Mt White, and it is expected that construction will commence in mid-2003.
Upgrading the Pacific Highway
"The Government's contribution to the Pacific Highway will increase by 34.4 percent in 2003-04. We will spend $57.8 million on improvements to the highway, compared to the $43.0 million budgeted in 2002-03, as we press on with the 10 year Pacific Highway Upgrading Programme.
"The $2.2 billion programme is funded jointly with New South Wales and is Australia's largest infrastructure project since the Snowy Mountains Scheme.
"In 2003-04, our funding will go towards:
- the construction of the Karuah bypass, which began in June 2002 and is expected to be completed around December 2004;
- the construction of the Taree to Coopernook duplication, which started in February 2002 and is expected to completed in 2006;
- planning the Brunswick Heads to Yelgun deviation; and
- planning an upgrade between Bundacree Creek and Possum Brush, south of Taree.
"The programme commenced in 1996-97 and has resulted in major safety improvements and reduced travel times. 15 individual projects have been completed to date, including the $348.0 million Yelgun to Chinderah Freeway, which was opened in August 2002.
Albury-Wodonga National Highway Upgrade
"The Government will provide $15.0 million in 2003-04 to New South Wales and $10.0 million to Victoria for planning and pre-construction works on the National Highway through Albury-Wodonga.
"The funding commitment furthers the Government's announcement in December 2002 that the National Highway through Albury-Wodonga will be an internal freeway with a major new river crossing. The project is expected to cost $346.0 million.
F5 Access Ramps at Campbelltown
"We have budgeted $1.0 million in 2003-04 to help plan the construction of two additional access ramps on the F5 between Casula and Campbelltown. We have budgeted $6.0 million in 2004-05 as the remainder of our contribution to the project, which will greatly reduce local traffic congestion.
"The funding follows my announcement in July last year that we would fund up to two- thirds of the cost of the ramps as long as the remaining funds were contributed by the state government or the local community.
"I am delighted that the Campbelltown City Council has taken up my offer, despite the typical inaction of the NSW Government. The council's decision recognises that the new ramps will considerably benefit residents and businesses in the Campbelltown area.
Great Western Highway
"The Government will contribute $13 million in 2003-04 to continue upgrading the Great Western Highway through the Blue Mountains. The Government is contributing $100.0 million towards the cost of upgrading the highway.
"Our 2003-04 funding will be committed to:
- the realignment of Shell Corner near Katoomba, which is due for completion in late 2003;
- the replacement and realignment of the Medlow Bath bridge, which is also expected to be completed this year;
- straightening and widening the highway to four lanes at Linden Bends; and
- widening the highway to four lanes between Falls Road and West Street at Wentworth Falls, in a jointly funded project with the state government. Planning is underway and it is expected that construction will commence in 2003-04.
"The Great Western Highway upgrade will provide motorists with a four lane highway from Penrith to Katoomba by 2008 and a mostly three-lane route from Katoomba to Mount Victoria. These improvements will improve the safety and efficiency of this important road corridor and will ensure it continues to meet the community's expectations about transport access.
"The Government will spend $10.0 million in 2003-04 to complete the planning and start construction of the Moree bypass, on the Newell Highway. The $35.0 million bypass - the Gosport Street option - will reduce the number of articulated heavy vehicles in the central business district by over 90 percent.
"Planning approval for the bypass is expected in August 2003, with the tendering process to commence at the end of the year. The construction of the bypass is expected to be completed in 2005.
"In the 2002-03 Budget, the Government confirmed our election promise to contribute $2.0 million toward the construction of a heavy vehicle bypass around the Queanbeyan central business district. We announced that the funding would be contributed in 2004-05.
"I am very pleased to announce that we have been able to bring the funding forward to 2003-04, which will allow the project to go ahead as quickly as possible.
"The Government will contribute $2.2 million in 2003-04 toward the cost of the Alstonville bypass. Alstonville is a hinterland village on the Bruxner Highway between Ballina and Lismore and currently has to cope with more than 13,000 vehicles passing through its main street every day.
"Our total contribution to the bypass will be $12.0 million, in line with our promise during the 2001 election campaign. The NSW Government has agreed to contribute the rest of the cost of the $36.5 million project.
"It is expected that construction will start in July 2004. The bypass should be open to traffic by June 2006.
Murray River Bridges
"The Federal Government has committed $44.0 million from the Federation Fund to assist the New South Wales and Victorian Governments to construct new bridges across the Murray River at Corowa ($12 million contribution), Echuca ($15 million contribution) and Robinvale ($17 million contribution). The Federation Fund contribution reflects the historic importance of the Murray River and the border communities in the establishment of modern Australia.
"The Government is budgeted to spend $24.0 million on the project in 2003-04, after waiting years for New South Wales and Victoria to commit to the bridges.
"The construction of the Federation Bridge at Corowa will start this month and is expected to be completed by August 2004. Work on the Robinvale Bridge will begin in December 2003.
"The recommended option at Echuca is for a new bridge to be built along a route known as the W1 alignment on the western fringe of Echuca and Moama. The W1 route will act as an alternative Murray River crossing point, provide a long term solution for regional transport needs, serving the expanding communities of Echuca-Moama and provide emergency river access.
"The Government will spend $3.5 million in 2003-04 to start work on improving Bucketts Way to an acceptable standard. The funds are the first tranche of our $20 million election commitment to upgrade the 158 kilometre road, which is an important link for the residents of the mid north coast hinterland.
"The projects to be delivered as part of the upgrade include sealing, rehabilitation works and the upgrading of old narrow bridges. 2003-04 will see the replacement of the old Cromarty Creek bridge, a timber structure that is currently closed due to its poor condition.
"The arrangements for delivering the Federal funding have been settled with the state government and the relevant local councils. Work is ready to get underway."
Main Road 92
"The Federal Government will provide $4.0 million in 2003-04 for further upgrading works on the Nowra-Nerriga road (MR92) under a cost sharing arrangement with the New South Wales Government and Shoalhaven City Council.
"The upgrade will significantly improve interregional road links between the Illawarra and Shoalhaven areas and southern inland NSW. Construction has been completed on the section of MR92 between Hames Road and the Albatross Aviation Technology Park. It is expected that planning and environmental approval processes for the remaining 54 kilometres will be completed by early next year, followed by construction. The upgrade is due to be completed in 2007.
Saving Lives with the Black Spot Programme
"New South Wales will receive $14.3 million in 2003-04 under the National Black Spot Programme, which provides funding to improve dangerous accident locations on Australia's roads. The programme is estimated to prevent about 500 serious crashes a year nationally.
Supporting our Local Roads
"In 2003-04, the Government will invest $219.2 million in New South Wales local roads, including $134.2 million in untied Local Road Grants and $85.0 million under the Roads to Recovery Programme.
"The $1.2 billion Roads to Recovery Programme is the largest funding injection into local roads by any Federal Government. So far, councils have listed about 10,000 projects for funding, with a strong emphasis on improving road safety.
"In 2002-03, we had to defer $100 million of spending under the programme nationally to meet our overall budgetary requirements. Local authorities throughout Australia will receive their full Roads to Recovery allocation in 2003-04, and will receive an extra $100 million in 2004-05 to make up for the deferral," Mr Anderson said.
Media contact: Paul Chamberlin 02 62777680 / 0419 233989
2003-04 Roads Programme
NEW SOUTH WALES
Western Sydney Orbital
The Federal Government will contribute $62.1 million in 2003-04 toward Australia's largest urban road project, the $1.5 billion Western Sydney Orbital. The Government's total commitment is $356 million.
The Western Sydney Orbital will provide a new 40km road from the M5 Motorway at Prestons, near Liverpool, to the M2 Motorway at West Baulkham Hills.
The successful tenderer for the project, the WestLink Motorway consortium, will design, build, maintain and operate the road. Construction began in March 2003, and the new link is due to open to traffic in 2007.
Northern Sydney connector
The Federal Government has committed $3.5 million to investigate and plan a new link for the National Highway between the Sydney Orbital and the F3 freeway north of Sydney.
Sinclair Knight Merz has been selected to conduct the study, including the public consultation phase, which is expected to be completed in late 2003.
Subject to planning and budgetary considerations, the start of construction on the selected route should coincide with the completion of the WSO.
F5 Ramps - Federal funding of $1.0 million in 2003-04 will provide concepts, designs and cost estimates for new access ramps on the F5 between Casula and Campbelltown. Construction will follow on completion of the planning, and the Government has allocated a further $6.0 million to the project in 2004-05.
The funding follows the Government's July 2002 offer to contribute up to a maximum of two thirds of the cost of the new access ramps on the condition that the remaining funds were to be made available by either the state government or the local community. Campbelltown City Council has agreed to fund the remainder of the cost.
Southern Hume Highway planning - The Government will provide $0.3 million in 2003-04 for the further investigation of the needs of the Hume Highway corridor south of the Sturt highway junction. The study will consider the traffic and safety needs of this section of the Highway.
Hume Highway-West Street junction, North Gundagai - The Government is providing $80,000 to fund a study of options to address safety concerns at the existing inter-section at North Gundagai, with much higher traffic volumes currently on the Hume and several fatal crashes in the area. An investigation of concept designs and cost estimates for grade separation at the junction will be undertaken.
Albury-Wodonga National Highway Upgrade - The Government will provide $15.0 million in 2003-04 for planning of the NSW section of the National Highway through Albury-Wodonga and $10.0 million for the Victorian section. The Albury-Wodonga National Highway upgrade is being built to freeway standard between the end of the Hume Freeway at High Street (Lincoln Causeway) in Wodonga and the current Hume Highway at the Billy Hughes Bridge north of Albury. The total cost of the upgrade is expected to $346.0 million.
The NSW section will run beside the railway and will require the construction of a number of road overbridges crossing both the freeway and the railway. The Bridge Street underpass of the railway will also be rebuilt and extended under the freeway.
Finalisation of some aspects of the design is on-going, but it is currently proposed that full or partial interchanges will be built at High Street, the proposed Bandiana Link (subject to Victorian Government funding), Bridge Street, Borella Road, Corry's Hill, Thurgoona Drive, and Billy Hughes Bridge. A pedestrian overbridge will also be built at Deane Street.
The Victorian section crosses extensive floodplains and will include:
- 193 metre long bridges over the Murray River;
- 70 metre bridges over Murray River floodway;
- 428 metre bridges over Flanagans Creek and floodway;
- 328 metre bridges over Wodonga Creek and the railway; and
- 65 metre bridges over High Street
The freeway will be built as a four-lane road, except between Bridge Street and Borella Road, which will have six lanes to facilitate weaving movements. The road will have provision for an extra lane to be built in each direction, should this become necessary. Extensive noise amelioration mounds and walls will be built, especially north of the Murray. The freeway will have extensive landscaping to minimise the impact on surrounding households.
F3 widening - The Federal Government will provide $43 million in 2003-04 from its $86.0 million commitment to fast-track the widening of the F3 freeway to six lanes between the Hawkesbury River and Calga on the New South Wales Central Coast.
Construction of the first stage, involving two extra lanes built in the median between Mt White and the Calga interchange, was completed and opened in October 2002. Stage two, involving an eight kilometre section of the F3 from north of Jolls Bridge to Mt White, is expected to commence in mid 2003.
To minimise intrusion into neighbouring bushland, the work will be conducted predominantly within the existing road reserve and along the present alignment. The F3 between Sydney and Gosford is one of the busiest National Highway corridors carrying more than 60,000 vehicles daily.
F3 to Branxton - The Federal Government will spend a further $8.0 million in 2003-04 on planning and route identification for a new link to relieve congestion on the New England Highway through the Lower Hunter Valley.
The planning and design of the project is expected to take up to another 3 years. The project is estimated to cost more than $335 million.
Weakleys Drive Intersection - The Government will spend $1 million in 2003-04 to commence planning a new interchange between Weakleys Drive and the New England Highway in the Lower Hunter. The new interchange is needed to manage the increasing traffic congestion problems in this area.
The Government has committed $25.0 million to the project. The RTA will construct the interchange. They have advised that construction will not be able to start before 2005-06.
Devils Pinch realignment - The Government has allocated $6.0 million in 2003-04 for the construction of the New England Highway realignment at Devils Pinch. Subject to the receipt of final planning approval, construction is expected to commence in mid 2003.
Great Western Highway
The Government will contribute $13 million in 2003-04 for continuing projects in the upgrading of the Great Western Highway.
In September 1998, the Government announced that it would contribute $100.0 million toward up-grading of Great Western Highway. The 2003-04 Budget brings the total Federal contribution to $95.0 million.
The upgrade includes constructing four lanes from Penrith to Katoomba and a mostly three-lane route from Katoomba to Mount Victoria. The Federally-funded projects include major realignments at Shell Corner and Soldiers Pinch, the replacement and realignment of the Medlow Bath bridge and a further upgrading at Linden Bends.
The Government has also agreed to fund jointly the widening of the Great Western Highway to four-lane divided highway standard between Falls Road and West Street at Wentworth Falls. Planning is under way, and it is expected the project will be ready for construction in 2003-04.
Shell Corner - A 1.2km section of road between Mort Street and Nellies Glen Road at Katoomba is being upgraded with Federal funding of $34.7 million to eliminate the Shell Corner Black Spot. The project is expected to be completed in late 2003.
Medlow Bath - Work has commenced on the construction of a new four-lane bridge and approaches over the railway line west of the existing bridge at Medlow Bath. Completion is expected around October 2003.
Soldiers Pinch - Construction of the $24.0 million Soldiers Pinch deviation at Mount Victoria is now complete. Reconstruction over two kilometres involved straightening the alignment between the Mt Boyce Weigh Station and Browntown Oval.
Linden Bends - Work has commenced on widening and straightening the Great Western Highway to four lanes over a distance of approximately three kilometres at Linden Bends. The $25.9 million Federally-funded project is proceeding in three stages. Construction is likely to finish in the second half of 2003.
Bells Line of Road - The Government is contributing half the cost of a joint study with NSW into considering the Bells Line of Road corridor as an alternate route across the Blue Mountains.
The Federal Government will spend $57.8 million in 2003-04 on the Pacific Highway Upgrade Programme, which is jointly funded with New South Wales. The 2003-04 projects include:
Karuah bypass - The Government has agreed to fund half the cost of the Pacific Highway upgrading at Karuah. A design, construct and maintain contract has been awarded to Thiess Ltd and construction commenced in June 2002. The bypass is expected to be open to traffic by December 2004.
Bundacree Creek to Possum Brush - Planning is underway for the upgrading of 9.7km of the highway between Bundacree Creek and Possum Brush. The upgrading for this part of the highway, around Nabiac, south of Taree, follows the course of the current highway with some minor deviations. When completed, continuous freeway conditions will extend more than 50km from the end of the Bulahdelah-Coolongolook deviation to north of Taree, linking to other new work between Taree and Coopernook.
Taree to Coopernook - The existing highway over Jones Island between the Taree bypass and the Coopernook bypass is currently being upgraded to four lanes at a cost of $59.0 million. The new alignment will follow the existing highway but eliminate dips and curves. Construction is due for completion in 2004.
Brunswick Heads to Yelgun - Planning is underway for the conversion of the Pacific Highway to four lanes between Brunswick Heads and Yelgun, including the duplication of the Brunswick Heads bypass.
North of Parkes realignment - Investigations have begun into the future route of the Newell Highway between Bogan and Coobang, 3.6km to 13km north of Parkes. The existing highway at this location is rough and has curves and dips in the road that hinder safe overtaking.
Preliminary investigations of five options for this route have been explored. These range from upgrading the existing highway to building on a new alignment at a cost of up to $33.0 million. The Government has allocated $0.5 million to planning of this project in 2003-04.
Coonabarabran bypass - The Government will spend a further $1.0 million in 2003-04 on route selection for the bypass of Coonabarabran.
The Newell Highway passes through the centre of Coonabarabran, 350km north-west of Sydney, causing problems with local traffic, community severance and safety concerns.
Feedback from community consultation will be used to finalise a preferred corridor before environmental assessments can proceed. As yet, no construction timeframe has been established.
Moree bypass - The Federal Government will spend $10.0 million in 2003-04 to complete the planning of the Moree bypass and begin con-struction. Moree is a rail freight consolidation centre and inland port on the interstate National Highway network.
The Government is funding a $35.0 million bypass - the Gosport Street option - that will reduce the number of articulated heavy vehicles in the central business district by over 90 per cent.
NSW planning approval is expected around August 2003. Tenders for the first construction contract - a bridge over the Mehi River - will be called in late 2003. The bypass is expected to be completed in 2005.
Ardlethan Realignment - A package of works totalling $8.9 million ($4.0 million in 2003-04) is being undertaken to overcome flooding and alignment problems at Ardlethan, between Narrandera and West Wyalong. Improvements involve a realignment of the Newell Highway-Burley Griffin Way intersection, the replacement of the narrow bridge over Mirrool Creek and causeway improvements south of Mirrool Creek. These measures are expected to greatly improve the reliability and safety of the Highway.
The Government has committed $44 million from the Federation Fund to assist the New South Wales and Victorian Governments to construct new bridges across the Murray River at Corowa ($12 million), Echuca ($15 million) and Robinvale ($17 million).
The Government is budgeted to spend $24.0 million on the project in 2003-04.
The construction of the Federation Bridge at Corowa will start this month and is expected to be completed by August 2004. The new bridge will see most heavy vehicles removed from Corowa and Wahgunyah, while still providing easy access for local traffic between the two centres.
The construction of the Robinvale Bridge is ex-pected to begin in December 2003. It involves a series of bridges and embankments across the Murray River floodplain, including a 671 metre main bridge and 813 metres of approach roads and embankments.
The option at Echuca, recommended by an indep-endent panel, is for a new bridge to be built along a route known as the W1 alignment on the western fringe of Echuca and Moama. The W1 route will act as an alternative Murray River crossing point, provide a long term solution for regional transport needs, serving the expanding communities of Echuca-Moama and offer emergency river access.
Dixons-Long Point Road
The Federal Government will contribute $3.0 million, on the basis of matching funds being provided by the NSW Government, toward the construction of a new bridge over the Macquarie River along the Dixons-Long Point Road, which links Orange and Mudgee. $1.0 million will be made available in 2003-04.
Currently, the route includes 65 kilometres of unsealed road and a major crossing of the Macquarie River that is only passable by four-wheel drive vehicles at times of low rainfall.
Main Road 92
The Government will provide $4.0 million in 2003-04 on the continued upgrading of Main Road 92. The total cost of the project will be $80.0 million with the Federal Government providing a total of $34.0 million.
Work is now finished on the new Main Road 92 alignment from the intersection of Albatross Road and Braidwood Road to Hames Road near Nowra. The next stage will run from Nowra to Nerriga, largely following existing unsealed roads. Planning and environmental clearance processes are under-way for this section of the project.
North Kiama bypass
The Government will provide $34.0 million toward the $135.0 million cost of constructing a 7.6km bypass of North Kiama. The bypass will improve road safety and travel times significantly in peak holiday periods. Commonwealth funding will be available from 2004-05.
Planning is advanced for the four-lane road along a new alignment between Swamp Road and Bombo station, bypassing the suburbs of Kiama Downs, Gainsborough and Minnamurra. Tenders have been called for this final stage of the project, which is expected to be completed in early to mid 2005.
The Government will contribute $2.0 million in 2003-04 toward the estimated $6.0 million cost of building a heavy vehicle bypass around the Queanbeyan central business district.
The bypass will link East Queanbeyan with Canberra Avenue via The Oaks Estate in the ACT. It is anticipated that up to 45 per cent of heavy vehicles using Monaro Street, Queanbeyan's main thoroughfare, will be diverted to the new route. Work commenced on the bypass in February 2003.
In 1996, the Federal Government committed $20 million towards the upgrading of the Summerland Way as a Road of National Importance (RONI).
The realignment and replacement of the Macleans Bridge, 30 km north of Kyogle, is proceeding with the tender for this $3.1 million contract awarded in April 2003. Construction has commenced and completion is expected in early 2004.
The recently completed realignment of the Summerland Way at Dourrigan's Gap, approx-imately 16km north of Kyogle, is the largest of the 10 projects funded by the Federal Government as part of its commitment to Summerland Way.
The Government will spend $3.5 million in 2003-04 to start work on improving Bucketts Way to an acceptable standard. The Government has committed $20.0 million in an election commitment to upgrade the 158 kilometre road.
The projects to be delivered as part of the upgrade include sealing, rehabilitation works and the upgrading of old narrow bridges.
Slope Stability Remediation
Following a study of slope stability on National Highways in NSW and the release of the Coronial report into the Thredbo landslide, remedial work will commence at a number of sites on the National Highway including the F3 Freeway and the Newell Highway near Coonabarabran. $2.0 million will be made available in 2003-04.
The Federal Government will provide $219.2 million in 2003-04 for local roads in New South Wales from the Roads to Recovery Programme and untied Local Road Grants.
The $1.2 billion Roads to Recovery Programme is the largest funding injection into local roads by any Federal Government.
Black Spot Programme
The National Black Spot Programme provides funding to improve dangerous locations on roads other than the National Highway and declared Roads of National Importance. New South Wales will receive $14.3 million in 2003-04 under the programme.