A report detailing community responses on the environmental assessment and concept design of the Muswellbrook bypass has been released, with construction now one step closer.
The Muswellbrook bypass will be built on the New England Highway, in an effort to slash travel times for freight operators.
The New South Wales Government will contribute $67.2 million and the Federal Government $268.8 million to the project.
The New England Highway is part of the inland Sydney to Brisbane National Transport Network and the primary route connecting the Upper Hunter with Maitland and Newcastle.
An environmental assessment was carried out to identify the potential impacts of the proposed upgrade and ways to reduce these impacts.
A Transport for NSW spokesperson said stakeholders and the community were invited to provide feedback on the bypass from 8 November to 17 December 2021.
“We received a total of 24 submissions from community, businesses, Muswellbrook Shire Council and government agencies on a range of issues such as property, land use and amenity impacts including noise and air quality,” the spokesperson said.
“It was great to see most of the feedback on the proposal was either supportive or neutral, so it’s clear people understand the benefits this project will bring.
“Community feedback is an essential part of the process to make this bypass a reality, so I want to thank everyone who made a submission and invite the community to view the report to learn how Transport for NSW has responded to the topics raised.”
The Transport for NSW spokesperson said the New England Highway bypass of Muswellbrook would improve travel times, freight efficiency and safety for all road users.
“With a vital part of the planning process for the bypass now complete, the community of Muswellbrook is a step closer to having fewer heavy vehicles on local roads,” the spokesperson said.
“Up to 20,000 vehicles, including 2,600 heavy vehicles, use the existing New England Highway through Muswellbrook each day.
“Once the bypass is built, local and through traffic will enjoy safer journeys and there will be significant safety, amenity and economic improvements in the town centre.
“The project is also expected to create 720 direct jobs and 1,090 indirect jobs, creating a much-needed economic boost for the Upper Hunter region.”
For more information and to view the report, visit the Transport for NSW website.