Singleton bypass tender shortlist announced

Transport for NSW has announced (21 November 2022) the shortlisted tenderers for the New England Highway Singleton bypass. The planned Singleton bypass aims to improve the current and future movement of freight and journey time on the highway. The Australian Government has committed $560 million and the NSW Government is providing $140 million. It is considered to be the biggest infrastructure project the town has had in its history.

The tenderers are Acciona Constructions Australia Pty Ltd, Fulton Hogan Construction Pty Ltd and John Holland Pty Ltd.

Early work on the project is due to start in late 2022, if there are no weather delays. It is expected to open to traffic in late 2026.

The Singleton bypass will remove one of the Hunter region’s worst bottlenecks. The eight-kilometre project will bypass five sets of traffic lights in Singleton’s CBD and remove about 15,000 vehicles a day from the town centre. It will ease congestion, improve safety and deliver time savings for motorists. It will support more than 1,300 jobs during construction.

The Singleton bypass will include a full interchange with Putty Road and a new 600-metre-long bridge at the southern connection. It has also be designed to cater for a later upgrade to a dual carriageway to meet future traffic demands.

There has been a lot of controversy around the compulsory acquisition of farming land. Many of the farmers are dissatisfied with compensation and the way they have been treated. TfNSW has been accused of trespassing on farmers land, attempting to charge rent to the farmers before they have vacated their properties and significantly undervaluing the land.

I must declare that I grew up in the Upper Hunter and I have driven up the New England Highway many times. The petrol station on the hill north of  Singleton was a personal marker that I was on the home straight to Scone. Although I am not sure about the value of the Singleton bypass project, I got my last speeding ticket for doing 70 kph in a 60 kph zone in Singleton. The bypass will at least stop that sort of nonsense.