New England Highway - Tenterfield heavy vehicle bypass
The New England Highway is the major link from the Hunter Region to the New England area and beyond. The highway is also a major route for heavy transport from Sydney to Brisbane and provides an alternative route to the Pacific Highway.
The Australian Government committed up to $6 million in the 2011/12 Federal Budget from the existing Nation Building Program towards planning work on two specific projects on the New England Highway, the Tenterfield heavy vehicle bypass and safety upgrades at Bolivia Hill. The Tenterfield heavy vehicle bypass project will aim to identify a preferred route for a heavy vehicle bypass of the town.
Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) has engaged GHD to help in the investigating of route options and recommending a preferred vehicle bypass of Tenterfield. Investigations will include extensive community consultation with local residents, council, and key stakeholders.
Two community information sessions were held in Tenterfield in October 2012. These sessions provided an opportunity for the community to help identify local constraints and issues, discuss proposed routes and criteria. This input has been used to help develop the draft preliminary route options.
Following the announcement of the draft preliminary route options in February 2013, two further community information sessions were held in Tenterfield during March 2013. These sessions were an opportunity for the community to view the draft preliminary route options and draft assessment methodology and criteria, ask questions and provide feedback.
The preferred bypass route will need to consider how to achieve the following objectives.
- Improve road safety.
- Improve road transport productivity, efficiency and reliability of travel.
- Minimise the impact on the natural, cultural and built environment.
- Provide sustainable economic outcomes for the local community.
- Minimise social impact on the local community.
- Provide value for money.
Initial investigations are;
- Assessing previous studies undertaken.
- Confirming the benefits of a heavy vehicle bypass of Tenterfield.
- Undertaking extensive community consultation.
- Undertaking environmental and heritage assessments.
- Developing corridor options.
- Finalise a preferred option.
Although construction funding has not been allocated, it is important to plan now for a heavy vehicle bypass. This provides certainty for the future development of Tenterfield.
Extensive community involvement will continue throughout the route identification and preliminary assessment stages.
Tenterfield is located on the Great Dividing Range at the northern end of the New England Tableland and at the intersection of the New England and Bruxner highways.
The New England Highway is a major link from the Hunter Region to the New England area and beyond. The highway passes through Tenterfield's central business district, causing traffic and safety issues.