Motorists are enjoying safer and faster journeys on the New England Highway as work on the Scone bypass wraps up six months ahead of the revised delivery schedule.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said finishing work on the $137 million project, jointly funded by the Australian and NSW Liberal and Nationals Governments, has now been officially completed following the bypass opening to traffic in March.
“This section of the New England Highway carries 8400 vehicles a day, most of which no longer have to travel through Scone’s CBD,” Mr McCormack said.
“This project is part of the Federal Government’s record $100 billion pipeline of infrastructure projects which is helping Australians reach their destinations sooner and safer.”
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said more than 1150 direct and indirect jobs were supported during the building of the bypass, which started in June 2018.
“This is a success story for the local community and also for the rest of the Hunter region, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic,” Mr Toole said.
“The freight network has been incredibly busy in the past few weeks and the new bypass is paying dividends, ensuring safer and more efficient trips for the freight industry in this area as they work overtime to keep the economy moving.”
Federal Member for New England Barnaby Joyce said it was great news the project’s contractor Daracon Group was able to complete the bypass in less than two years, working closely with the community to ensure successful delivery.
“Motorists can now travel on a two-lane highway which bypasses Scone to the west, incorporating three bridges which span a total of more than 700 metres including a 540-metre bridge over Parsons Gully,” Mr Joyce said.
“The bypass builds on the developments we’re already delivering for Scone including new saleyards, new learning facilities at Scone Grammar and new infrastructure for the local thoroughbred industry.
“From the Upper Hunter to the Queensland border, this project and many more are all part of my record of delivery for the people in New England.”
State Member for Upper Hunter Michael Johnsen said the Scone community celebrated the project in February, when more than 2000 people took part in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to walk along the bypass route.
“This is a fantastic example of our Government delivering ahead of schedule for regional communities and it means real changes to daily life in Scone with heavy vehicles now taken off local streets,” Mr Johnsen said.
The $137 million Scone Bypass project is jointly funded by the Australian Government ($65 million) and the NSW Government ($72 million).