Tender for first stage Barton Highway duplication released

Dominic Giannini 29 October 2019 8
Barton Highway

A sign urging Barton Highway drivers to stick to the speed limit. Photo: Yass Valley Shire Council.

Expressions of interests are now being accepted for the tender for the first stage of the Barton Highway upgrade which will duplicate the highway from the ACT border towards Murrumbateman, with an emphasis on achieving the greatest duplication distance possible.

The Barton Highway, which links Canberra to Murrumbateman and the Hume Highway at Yass, has consistently been rated as one of the worst and most dangerous roads in NSW and the ACT in the NRMA’s annual Seeing Red on Roads survey.

The single-lane highway in NSW has been the scene of deaths and serious injury, and is often blocked after accidents with traffic having to be diverted through McIntosh Circuit in Murrumbateman. Yass Valley community groups have called for the duplication and safety improvements for over a decade.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the upgrade would improve the safety and traffic flow of the highway.

“The Barton Highway is a critical link connecting communities on the Southern Tablelands in NSW and the ACT. This upgrade will significantly improve safety as well as journey reliability, ease congestion and boost freight productivity,” he said.

The Australian and NSW governments have each committed $50 million each to the project over the next four years, while an additional $100 million is set aside for the upgrade under the federal Roads of Strategic Importance initiative from the 2018-19 Budget.

NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said both Governments wanted to maximise the length of road that is able to be duplicated under the program, and for local firms to be involved in the project to help boost the economy and provide jobs in the drought-stricken region.

“We are encouraging industry to be innovative to achieve the greatest distance of duplicated highway and deliver value for money while ensuring a focus on safety,” Mr Toole said.

“We also want to make sure that there are opportunities for the local workforce from communities along the length of the duplication to participate, to provide employment during tough drought times, so we’ll be looking to partners that can provide that.”

ACT Liberal Senator Zed Seselja said the request for tender was planned for early 2020.

Upcoming work is also set to include a $3.25 million investment in “intelligent transport systems” to help improve reliability and safety.

The member for Goulburn, Wendy Tuckerman, said the upgrades would help better manage and reduce traffic incidents.

“Permanent variable message signs, with fog detection systems, real travel time capabilities and closed-circuit television monitoring will be installed at the northern and southern approaches of the Barton Highway,” she said.

A Review of Environmental Factors (REF) is set to be finalised in the coming months as planning continues for the duplication of the remaining sections of the highway, including upgrades at Gooda Creek Road and Vallencia Drive.

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8 Responses to Tender for first stage Barton Highway duplication released
alistaair alistaair 4:55 pm 31 Oct 19

Ideally there should be an upgrade or construction of a road route towards Tumut or in the direction of Melbourne. The route that goes towards Yass and then towards Melbourne along the Hume Highway is very elongated for a road connection between state/territory capitals.

Vanessa Jones Vanessa Jones 8:52 am 31 Oct 19

About time. A safety buffer in the middle would help avoid crashes, as the Monaro Hwy also needs.

Mick Mack Mick Mack 5:35 am 31 Oct 19

When Walker Park Yass was being developed around 38yrs ago the talk from AV Jennings agents was that they are going to do a duel highway from Yass to Canberra.

Margaret Edwards Margaret Edwards 10:26 pm 30 Oct 19

Not before time!!!

Harvey Marchant Harvey Marchant 1:12 pm 30 Oct 19

About bloody time.

Daniel Howell Daniel Howell 12:43 pm 30 Oct 19

Good about time so much traffic

Ed N Joanne Towner Ed N Joanne Towner 11:57 am 30 Oct 19

Good to see some progress on the duplication!

Trudi Brooker Trudi Brooker 10:29 am 30 Oct 19

At the rate they are going, I’ll be dead from old age before it makes it to Murrumbateman!

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