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New England Highway overpass set to open at Belford

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The New England Highway upgrade at Belford will mark another major milestone when the overpass opens to traffic in coming weeks.

While work started in late September 2021, the project’s on track for completion a year ahead of schedule.

It’s especially good news for local motorists as that stretch of road is notorious for crashes, including numerous fatalities in recent times.

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Jenny Aitchison said the NSW Government was investing $97 million for the upgrade.

On top of that, the work’s delivered an economic boost to the Upper Hunter community, too.

“The upgrade will provide about three kilometres of new dual carriageway on the New England Highway and a flyover bridge for motorists turning right from the Golden Highway,” she said.

“It’ll improve safety, travel times and reliability for more than 25,000 motorists who use the New England Highway each day.

“Road users can now travel along the new flyover bridge as well as the eastbound carriageway, which opened to traffic earlier this year.

“This is a major milestone for the project.”

In 2022, crews installed 12 concrete bridge beams that form the overpass for motorists turning from the Golden Highway toward Newcastle and Maitland.

This included eight beams on either side of the highway measuring 19 metres long and weighing 40 tonnes each, and four beams spanning the highway measuring 33 metres long and weighing 65 tonnes each.

Work is continuing on the old section of highway, the access road for nearby properties on the Golden Highway and the new left-turn lane for motorists travelling towards Singleton that will connect to the upcoming roundabout on the Golden Highway.

That’s expected to be completed in late 2023, weather permitting.

Motorists are advised to follow the directions of the electronic message signs and drive with caution when travelling through the work zone.

Work on the upgrade will continue to be carried out weekdays from 7am to 6pm and on Saturdays from 8am to 1pm.

Traffic control and a reduced speed limit of 80km/h will be in place for the safety of workers and motorists.

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