Drivers had their first taste of the long-awaited Barton Highway duplication on Tuesday afternoon (7 November), but most didn’t know until they were actually on the new section of road.
Although plans for the first section to be opened, south of Church Lane to the Kaveneys Road intersection, were announced on 16 October, no date was given for what ended up happening from 2 pm on Tuesday.
A Transport for NSW spokesperson said no fixed date could be given for the road section opening because such work depended on the weather, adding that recent conditions “had not been ideal for laying asphalt and caused some minor delays.
“High wind speeds and cool pavement temperatures are not optimal conditions for Stone Mastic Asphalt placement. The weather has improved this week, allowing crews to continue asphalting work and start line marking,” the spokesperson said.
This first step saw a change in traffic conditions at the Church Lane and Kaveneys Road intersection, with northbound traffic being switched on to the new lanes on Tuesday afternoon.
Access to Nanima and Spring Range roads for northbound traffic will change to a temporary left-in and left-out arrangement, while all property access will change to left-in left-out only. A limited number of U-turn facilities will be available for road users until duplication work is completed.
This temporary arrangement will be in place while work is carried out on the median strip and to retrofit the existing lanes from two-way traffic to southbound-only. Work will include fresh bitumen seal, line-marking and signage.
The work will be carried out on the existing highway and medians between 7 am and 6 pm weekdays and 8 am and 1 pm on Saturdays.
Work is expected to be completed by late 2023 or early 2024, weather permitting.
Traffic control, partial lane closures and reduced speed limits of 40, 60 and 80 km/h will be in place for the safety of workers and road users.
“We thank the community for their ongoing patience and understanding while work continues to deliver this project,” the spokesperson said.
All northbound Barton Highway traffic will switch to the new lanes while work is carried out to prepare the existing highway for southbound-only traffic.
When the reconfiguration of the existing highway is complete, the 7-kilometre length of duplication from just north of the NSW-ACT border to just south of Kaveneys Road intersection will be open to four lanes, signalling the completion of the first stage of the Barton Highway upgrade.
Planning is now well underway for the second stage of duplication, which will start at the northern end of the first stage near Kaveneys Road and extend north towards Gooda Creek Road.
The Australian and NSW Governments have committed $200 million towards the upgrade of the Barton Highway, with $150 million provided by the Australian Government and $50 million by the NSW Government.
Further information on the Barton Highway project can be found online at Transport for NSW.
Original Article published by Sally Hopman on About Regional.