New section of Hume upgrade opens

First section of the Hume Highway upgrade opens to reduce congestion and increase road freight productivity

The first section of the Hume Highway duplication project has opened to traffic to reduce congestion and increase road freight productivity.

The eight kilometre stretch of road at Little Billabong, north of Holbrook, is part of a joint federal-NSW $800 million upgrade.

Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Anthony Albanese welcomed the milestone, saying the project will improve safety as well as efficiency on the key freight route.

"The Hume Highway is the main freight route between Sydney and Melbourne, carrying over 20 million tonnes of road freight every year," Albanese says.

The upgrade will duplicate 67 kilometres of the highway between the Sturt Highway and Table Top.

NSW Minister for Roads Michael Daley says traffic is running smoothly on the newly-opened section of highway.

"Traffic in both directions has been switched on to the new carriageway, allowing work to start on the upgrade of the existing road, which will form the southbound lanes," Daley says.

He says the project is on track to be completed by the end of the year.

"The bypasses at Tarcutta, Holbrook and Woomargama will then be the only sections of single carriageway on the highway between Sydney and Melbourne," Daley says.

He expects the bypasses to be upgraded by the end of 2012.

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