Raymond Terrace M1 extension gets the go ahead

An artist’s impression of the Tomago Interchange.

IT’s the bottleneck we all hate to get stuck in and the bane of travellers every school holiday period.

The M1 ends and traffic snakes along an inadequate road beside the Hunter River.

Now one of the Hunter region’s biggest ever infrastructure projects is a step closer to construction with the M1 Pacific Motorway extension to Raymond Terrace given the official green light by the Australian and NSW governments.

The Australian Government has approved the project under national environment law, meaning works can begin.

The $2.1 billion project is jointly funded, with the Australian Government contributing $1.68 billion and the NSW Government investing $420 million.

The project will deliver a 15-kilometre extension of the M1 Pacific Motorway from Black Hill to Raymond Terrace, including a 2.6-kilometre-long bridge over the New England Highway and Hunter River.

The surrounding network will also be upgraded, including the Hexham Straight Widening of around six kilometres of the Pacific Highway/Maitland Road to three lanes in each direction between the Newcastle Inner City Bypass at Sandgate and the New England Highway at Hexham Bridge.

Once complete, the extension will create more efficient and reliable journeys by bypassing five sets of traffic lights, and removing about 25,000 vehicles a day from key congestion and merge points between Newcastle and Maitland.

This road will be a game changer for Port and Myall residents who commute to other areas for work.

The Australian and NSW governments have announced John Holland Gamuda Australia Joint Venture as the contractors for the southern section of the project, covering a 10-kilometre section extending from Black Hill to Tomago,
while Seymour Whyte Constructions will deliver the northern contract, completing the five-kilometre section that will bypass Heatherbrae.

The project is expected to be open to traffic in mid-2028, weather permitting. 

“This is an exciting step forward in this project, which is the last remaining bottleneck on the Pacific Highway between Sydney and Brisbane – and even better that it’s happened ahead of schedule,” Federal Member for Paterson Meryl Swanson said.

“I know Hunter locals who frequently travel between Maitland and Newcastle are very much looking forward to this extension, making for a safer and faster journey.

“I have been focused on this as a priority project since my election seven years ago, and it’s great to be working alongside the Australian and NSW Governments to make it a reality.”

Federal Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister Catherine King said, “The Australian Government is committed to working with all state and territory governments to deliver a safe and efficient road network across the nation.

“The M1 Pacific Motorway extension to Raymond Terrace will be a key link in this vital piece of the nation’s infrastructure.

“Demand on the road network in this area is only expected to increase as local populations grow.

“We know that extending the M1 will provide improved traffic flow and increased connectivity.

“Getting the official tick to move forward is exciting news for the community as we continue to build the infrastructure that communities in regional NSW deserve.”


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