“Thought this day would never come”: Barton Highway duplication begins

Hannah Sparks 23 November 2020 13
Sam Knight, Rowena Abbey, Wendy Tuckerman and Jim Molan

Transport for NSW regional southern director Sam Knight, Yass Valley Mayor Rowena Abbey, Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman and NSW Senator Jim Molan turn the first sod for stage one of the Barton Highway duplication. Photo: Supplied.

After more than seven years of lobbying the Federal Government, duplication of the Barton Highway has finally begun.

NSW Senator Jim Molan, Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman and Yass Valley Mayor Rowena Abbey turned the first sod this morning (23 November) near Hall where stage one of the duplication will begin.

Under stage one, duplication will continue from Hall to Kaveneys Road in Jeir, south of Murrumbateman.


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Initial works began today and major works will begin in the New Year. Stage one is slated for completion in 2023.

Yass Valley Mayor Rowena Abbey said it was a “momentous occasion” for the local community and southern NSW.

In 2019, the Barton Highway was voted the worst road for congestion and safety in the Canberra/Goulburn region in a survey conducted by the NRMA.

Duplicating the highway will ensure safer and more reliable journeys for almost 13,000 road users who use the Barton Highway daily.

The new highway is expected to have a 100 km/h speed limit, making journeys more efficient for motorists and the freight industry.

The Barton Highway

The Barton Highway was voted the worst road for congestion and safety. Photo: File.

Jeir resident Sophie Wade was instrumental in lobbying the government to duplicate the Barton Highway and started the ‘Duplicate the Barton Highway’ community action group in 2013.

She said she “felt a sense of relief” knowing that the duplication had begun.

“It shows how important it is to stand up for what you believe in,” she said.


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Eventually, the Barton Highway will be duplicated from Hall to the existing dual carriageway on the Hume Highway, bypassing Murrumbateman.

The Federal and NSW Governments have committed to completing the full duplication, however, their commitment of $100 million so far isn’t enough to finish the project.

The estimated total cost to deliver the full duplication of the Barton Highway is around $1070 million, according to the Barton Highway Duplication Business Case.

Cr Abbey said she would continue to lobby the Federal Government for more funding to complete the project and had already begun discussions with Senator Molan for the Commonwealth to fund the entire project.

“We have been lobbying for this for as long as I can remember – and I’ve been in local government from 2004 – so there’s been a significant number of years to see this project begin and today you couldn’t wipe the smile off my face,” Mrs Tuckerman said.

“It’s certainly a huge milestone for the community who thought this day would never come.”

Stage two will duplicate the highway from Kaveneys Road to Gooda Creek Road; stage three will realign the highway and build two carriageways from Gooda Creek Road to Vallencia; stage four will build the Murrumbateman bypass from Vallencia Drive to the Gounyan Curves realignment; and stage five will connect the bypass to the Hume Highway.

The highway will become a southbound carriageway and new lanes will be northbound.


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13 Responses to “Thought this day would never come”: Barton Highway duplication begins
JS9 JS9 9:10 am 24 Nov 20

About time… shame it’ll take a generation to finish most likely.

David Brown David Brown 7:16 pm 23 Nov 20

At the current rate of progress, the duplication is scheduled to be completed in 2121.

Karen Peachey Karen Peachey 6:51 pm 23 Nov 20

7 years of lobbying by who? I've lived in Yass 14 years, this is the second time they've said they're going duplicate the Barton Hwy. When I heard about it the first time, I was told the promise to duplicate had been going on for years.

MERC600 MERC600 6:08 pm 23 Nov 20

So ”Under stage one, duplication will continue from Hall to Kaveneys Road in Jeir, south of Murrumbateman.”

Regret am a little lost. Car doesn’t have a compass. Might need to shift the tape player..

Will we still need to drive through Murrumbateman ?

Justin Bush Justin Bush 4:28 pm 23 Nov 20

Kirilly, Lucy; finally...

    Kirilly Bush Kirilly Bush 4:35 pm 23 Nov 20

    Justin Bush will probably take a few decades lol

    Justin Bush Justin Bush 4:41 pm 23 Nov 20

    Kirilly would be surprised if it didn't... 😒

Martin Budden Martin Budden 4:09 pm 23 Nov 20

That's less than half the current unduplicated road. When do we get the rest?

    Joanne Clark Joanne Clark 12:23 am 24 Nov 20

    Martin Budden the words 'hell' and 'freezes over' come to mind.

Shane Jasprizza Shane Jasprizza 3:51 pm 23 Nov 20

About bloody time! 😤

Aaron Davis Aaron Davis 2:31 pm 23 Nov 20

James Brownlie and so the journey begins...

Sean Bishop Sean Bishop 12:50 pm 23 Nov 20

Jesse your drive in and out are expected to take longer now

Tim Cole Tim Cole 12:42 pm 23 Nov 20

Congratulations to the Australian Electoral Commission for having the foresight to place the Barton Hwy into a marginal electorate

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