The upgrade of the Central Coast Highway has progressed to the next stage, with Transport for NSW inviting Expressions of Interest (EOI) from pre-qualified contractors.  

The Federal and New South Wales governments are investing $65.5 million to upgrade the notorious bottleneck as part of plans to improve traffic flow and safety on the Central Coast Highway between Wamberal and Bateau Bay.  

The Federal Government has committed $52.4 million towards the project. This includes an additional $1.2 million committed in the 2024-25 Budget to ensure the project is fully funded. 

Key features of the upgrade include replacement of the existing intersection roundabout with traffic lights and widening the highway north of the intersection to two lanes in each direction to the project boundary near Forresters Beach Garden Centre. 

Transport for NSW has carried out extensive community consultation, with the Review of Environmental Factors on display for feedback in October 2021 and the subsequent submissions report addressing matters raised by the community, published online in June 2022.  

In 2023, Transport carried out early works to prepare for the intersection upgrade including vegetation clearing, surveying, minor earthworks, geotechnical testing, demolition of Transport-owned property, and installation of utilities pits, conduits and cables. 

Timing on the next stage of construction is yet to be confirmed but is expected in early 2025. The project will take about two years to complete, weather permitting. 

Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Catherine King, said that the Federal and New South Wales Governments are committed to upgrading one of the most congested intersections on the Central Coast Highway and ensure the best possible outcome for motorists travelling to, from and around the region. 

“This upgrade will reduce delays and queuing, and improve traffic flow at the intersection as well as increased safety and reliability for all road users,” Ms King said.  

“Once completed, this project will make a real difference to the 26,000 motorists, including 1,000 heavy vehicles, that use this section of road each day.” 

New South Wales Minister for the Central Coast, David Harris, said that the intersection between the Central Coast Highway and Tumbi Road is a notorious bottleneck.  

“The Federal and State Governments are moving forward with our blueprint to fix it,” Mr Harris said.  

“Once the upgrade is delivered the existing roundabout will be replaced with traffic lights and the Highway north of the intersection will be widened to two lanes in each direction. 

“This upgrade will cut congestion, improve road safety and make travelling around the Central Coast much easier for all motorists.” 

New South Wales Minister for Regional Roads and Transport, Jenny Aitchison, said that Central Coast Road users have been calling for this upgrade for a long time.  

“The EOI process is an important step forward and will help Transport for NSW identify a short list of applicants who will be invited to put in a tender for the critical construction component of this project,” Ms Aitchison said.  

“In a boost for the local economy, we expect that when construction work ramps up around 125 jobs will be supported.” 

Image: Taras Vyshnya/shutterstock.com 

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