The public release of the Environmental Impact Statement submission report has driven the M1 Pacific Motorway extension to the next stage, awaiting approval before construction can start in 2023.
The M1 Pacific Motorway Extension on Raymond Terrace is set to be a key ‘missing link’ for motorists travelling between Sydney and Brisbane. The impact statement detailed how community feedback has affected the initial design, with a specific change being improved access to the Hunter Region Botanic Gardens and a centralised interchange at Old Punt Road.
Transport for NSW Director, Region North, Anna Zycki, said the release of the Environmental Impact Statement submissions report was a critical step in achieving planning approval for the motorway.
“This project will create more efficient and reliable journeys by bypassing five sets of traffic lights and removing about 25,000 vehicles a day from key congestion and merge points between Newcastle and Maitland – saving nine minutes in travel time,” Ms Zycki said.
“The submissions report is another indication of the level of community involvement in helping us to deliver this 15km, four-lane road, which is set to transform the Hunter region.
“We’ve also improved access to the northbound M1 Motorway entry ramp at Tomago to allow motorists from Newcastle to access the M1 Motorway sooner, which is a great result.”
Ms Zycki said that the release of the report will allow the Department of Planning and Environment to finalise its assessment of the project and prepare an environmental assessment report. The Minister for Planning will then decide whether to approve the project and if approved, outline any conditions that would apply.
“The Australian and New South Wales governments have worked together to provide $2.1 billion to deliver the M1 extension and the Hexham Straight widening projects – the scale of which has never been seen before in the Hunter,” Ms Zycki said.
“By upgrading this vital commuter, freight and tourism link, we’re going to leave a lasting legacy of better connected communities, improved safety and reduced local congestion.
“We’ll also be creating about 2700 direct and indirect jobs to boost the local economy at a time when it’s needed most.
“We’re at the final gate now with the report up for formal approval, which means we’re on track to see shovels in the ground by next year.”
Ms Zycki said the submissions received in response to the EIS for the project covered a range of issues including noise, biodiversity, traffic and transport.
“I thank all those community members who provided feedback and invite everyone to view the submissions report to learn how Transport for New South Wales has responded to the topics raised,” Ms Zycki said.
“The M1 Pacific Motorway extension to Raymond Terrace will make our region an even better place to live, work and visit. The release of the report demonstrates that we’re on track to commence early works later this year, following approval.”
The submissions report is available to view at the Department of Planning and Environment’s major project portal or on the project website caportal.com.au/tfnsw/m1rt.