The Barton Highway Upgrade Project Alliance Agreement will see contractors Seymour Whyte and SMEC partner with Transport for NSW to design and build the first stage of the project.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said awarding the first-stage contract allowed for vital works to now begin.
“The first stage in the Barton Highway upgrade will see a fully duplicated highway between Murrumbateman and the ACT, adding capacity, easing congestion and enhancing safety for the community,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“The award of contract means major construction is expected to start later this year, which is great news for commuters travelling between Canberra, Murrumbateman and Yass.
“The four-lane highway will improve safety, reduce travel times and increase freight productivity for the 13,000 motorists using the corridor each day.
“We are investing in our post-pandemic future by delivering lasting infrastructure which will kick-start our economic recovery and benefit Australians for years to come.”
NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the alliance model being used to upgrade the Barton Highway was selected to ensure the program could be delivered faster and more efficiently, delivering benefits to communities sooner.
“We took this same approach on the Newell Highway Upgrade Program, entering into an alliance agreement with the private sector, which is seeing us delivering that program ahead of schedule, while at the same time creating jobs in regional communities,” Mr Toole said.
“The first stage of the Barton Highway duplication is expected to provide about 80 jobs, which shows how serious we are about keeping money and jobs in local economies during these challenging times.”
Senator Zed Seselja said as part of the upgrade, state-of-the-art electronic message boards and closed-circuit televisions (CCTV) had now been installed along the Barton Highway and Yass Valley Way.
“The permanent electronic message boards use real-time technology to advise road users of changed traffic conditions, journey times and provide fog detection warnings to help road users navigate changing weather and traffic conditions,” Senator Seselja said.
“CCTV cameras will play a pivotal role when duplication work starts on the highway from the ACT border towards Murrumbateman, feeding live traffic information back to the Traffic Management Centre so electronic signs can be updated quickly.”
Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman said Transport for NSW has also released a submissions report summarising all feedback to the Review of Environmental Factors (REF) for the Barton Highway duplication project.
“Thanks to the responses received during the submission period, we have made a key design improvement by adding a dedicated right turn from the highway to Kaveneys Road to improve safety,” Mrs Tuckerman said.
“We’re tackling the ACT border to Murrumbateman section first because that’s where the most difference will be made to safety and efficiency in the short term.
“I’m pleased to report the Murrumbateman Village Safety Improvement Project will be completed by the end of this month, making this section of the highway safer for cyclists and pedestrians.”
The Australian and NSW Governments are each investing $50 million on the Barton Highway upgrade project, with a further $100 million committed by the Australian Government, pending further planning.