The Thornton Rail Bridge Duplication has received $15 million from the New South Wales Government in funding, helping kickstart the initial works and planning, with the rail bridge expected to ease congestion and provide flood-free routes once completed.

Over the course of the next 20 years, it is expected that Maitland in New South Wales will experience an increase of nearly 7,000 residents and 3,500 jobs, making it the fastest growing regional city in the state. 

The New South Wales Government is now focused on providing a safe and reliable road network to this fast-growing East Maitland area to keep pace with growth. 

New South Wales Premier, Chris Minns, said that the State Government is intending to follow through with the project and help support regional communities. 

“The New South Wales Government is delivering on our commitment to take the Thornton Rail Bridge duplication to the next stage and finally get the wheels turning on this much-needed project,” Mr Minns said.

“Thornton and the surrounding areas are key to the Maitland region’s success. We must invest in key infrastructure projects to support a growing area of regional significance.  

“Over the next 20 years it’s estimated we will see an increase of nearly 7,000 residents and 3,500 jobs, which is why we need to start work now to ensure traffic flows smoothly.”

Consultation with community members and key stakeholders over some key issues including tie-in points to the north and the south of the bridge, construction over an operational rail line, utility, and property impacts expected to begin shortly. 

New South Wales Regional and Roads Minister, Jenny Aitchison, said that the project will ensure smooth and safe travel in the future. 

“The New South Wales Government committed $15 million during the election towards planning and early works for the duplication of Thornton Rail bridge,” Ms Aitchison said. 

“The precinct is so congested during peak periods and flooding that it may as well double as a bumper-to-bumper car park sometimes.

“This will be a game changer for essential workers who are constantly stuck in traffic and are spending hours in the car to get to work, education and medical appointments.

“As one of the flood-free routes connecting the northern parts of Maitland to the M1, Pacific Highway and the Hunter Expressway, the duplication of this bridge is vital for our community.” 

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