Preferred bypass maps for Hume upgrade released

Government releases preferred maps for bypasses to improve productivity and take trucks from local roads

The Rudd Government has released its preferred route maps for bypasses as part of an upgrade to the Hume Highway to increase road freight productivity.

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese today announced the routes for Tarcutta, Holbrook and Woomargama bypasses, which he says will take about 2,700 trucks off local roads.

Albanese says the projects will slash freight travel times between Sydney and Melbourne.

The projects are part of the Government’s plan to upgrade the remaining sections of the Hume to a dual carriageway by 2012.

The preferred routes were selected following a rigorous assessment and consultation process.

"The corridors for these three new bypasses were selected following technical, environmental and social assessments of the various options as well as extensive consultations with the affected communities," Albanese says.

The responsibility will now fall to the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA), which will submit project applications to the NSW Department of Planning. The RTA will also draw up concept designs for each of the bypasses.

The Federal Government is also giving the RTA $9 million to undertake a number of detailed environmental assessments, surveys and geotechnical ecological investigations.

Albanese did not set a date for when the studies will begin, but says they will "start soon".

"Once completed, this work will go on public display," Albanese says.

However, he says there is still a lot of work to be done before construction begins and the projects are submitted to the NSW planning minister for final approval.

"There are many aspects of the detailed design work that will need further community input including the impact on properties, access arrangements, drainage infrastructure and noise management," Albanese says.

He says the projects fulfil the Government’s commitment to upgrading the Hume to a dual carriageway from Sydney to Melbourne.

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