Traffic has been diverted from Cormorant Road onto newly built section of road,  marking a major milestone in the $103.8 million project to duplicate Tourle Street and Cormorant Road at Kooragang to improve safety and freight efficiency.

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester, said the Australian Government was investing a record $75 billion in infrastructure nationwide to keep cities moving and deliver a safer, more efficient regional road network.

“Just one of many projects we are delivering across Australia, this duplication is aimed at improving traffic flow and catering for future traffic growth,” Mr Chester said.

“Kooragang Island is part of one of Australia’s most important ports, and upgrading this section of road will support the 33,000 vehicles which use the corridor every day, including the many local freight operators shifting goods to international markets.

“The upgrade includes duplicating 3.8kms of road between Industrial Drive at Mayfield West and Egret Street at Kooragang to provide two lanes in each direction, along with a second two-lane bridge on the western side of the existing Tourle Street Bridge.”

Senator for New South Wales Arthur Sinodinos said during the week starting Monday 5 June 2017, motorists travelling along Tourle Street from about 400m north of the Industrial Drive intersection to the Tourle Street Bridge will be shifted south onto the newly built section of road.

“Motorists travelling along Cormorant Road between Egret Street and the Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group entrance were recently shifted south onto the newly built section of road,” Mr Sinodinos said.

“These diversions are required to allow work to be carried out on the existing roads and are expected to remain in place for around five months, weather permitting.

“The patience of motorists will be well-rewarded with a less congested local road network, particularly for travel to and from Newcastle Airport and into Port Stephens.”

New South Wales Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, Melinda Pavey, said the upgrade would support a growing Hunter region.

“Other parts of this upgrade include 2.5m wide shoulders on Cormorant Road to cater for on-road cyclists, as well as road widening on the side of the existing Cormorant Road,” Mrs Pavey said.

“With the expansion of Newcastle Airport, the growth of industrial development on Kooragang Island, and increased urban development in Port Stephens and Newcastle more broadly, an upgrade like this will pay real dividends for the community.”

The Australian and New South Wales governments have committed $51.9 million to fund the project, which is expected to be completed in late 2018.

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