Work is nearing completion on the $137 million New England Highway bypass at Scone with the final bridge girder lowered into place.
Federal Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, State Member for Upper Hunter, Michael Johnsen, Upper Hunter Shire Council Mayor, Wayne Bedggood, and General Manager Steve McDonald, marked the milestone achievement in Scone.
Mr Joyce said local residents in Scone were one step closer to safer streets.
“Not only is this bypass helping connect our corridor of commerce and delivering increased freight productivity, it is also diverting trucks away from Scone’s increasingly busy Kelly Street,” Mr Joyce said.
“Just like the millions of dollars we are investing in the Merriwa-Willow Tree Road upgrade, the brand new Middlebrook Bridge, the soon to be upgraded Cameron and Junction bridges and the additional $140 million investment in the New England Highway, it’s all helping to provide you with safer roads and a better standard of living.”
Mr Johnsen said that whilst much planning and consultation went into planning the bypass, the final stretch of this $137 million dollar project was now in sight.
“The NSW Nationals in government are delivering for Scone and the region,” Mr Johnsen said.
“With millions of dollars dedicated to the Muswellbrook and Singleton bypasses, those communities can look forward to similar projects in the near future.”
Mayor Bedggood said the bypass formed part of the council’s long-term vision for Scone.
“Council is very pleased with how the work has progressed, ahead of schedule and with only minor interruptions to the community,” Mayor Bedggood said.
“Planning is underway for improvements to Kelly Street to make it a more attractive destination for locals and travellers.
“Council and businesses can see great opportunities for what our CBD can be without the heavy, highway traffic.”
Construction of the two-lane highway bypass started in July last year with delivery of the first load of concrete bridge girders.
The Australian Government has committed $65 million to the Scone Bypass project and the NSW Government $72 million.