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Hunter Expressway rolls on



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MEDIA RELEASE

THE HON JOEL FITZGIBBON MP MEMBER FOR HUNTER CHIEF GOVERNMENT WHIP ___________________________________________________________

7 June 2011

HUNTER EXPRESSWAY ROLLS ON

Federal Member for the Hunter, Joel Fitzgibbon, was in Loxford today to inspect progress on the $1.7 billion Hunter Expressway.

Mr Fitzgibbon inspected new bridge trusses which were installed as part of the reconstruction of the South Maitland railway where it meets the Expressway near McLeod Road.

“The Hunter Expressway involves the construction of 53 bridges including the new railway bridge in Loxford, which will allow the South Maitland railway to pass safely over the new road,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

“All up, 900 metres of the South Maitland railway will be realigned allowing it to remain open during the construction of the Expressway.

“Here in Loxford we can see first-hand that it’s full steam ahead on the long-awaited Hunter Expressway, which will cut travel times between Newcastle and Branxton by 30 minutes and reduce congestion on the New England Highway by up to 30,000 vehicles per day.”

Mr Fitzgibbon said the South Maitland railway alignment, to be completed later this year, was an important milestone in the Expressway project.

“The Hunter Expressway is the culmination of the community’s twenty year campaign for better road infrastructure to support the Hunter’s continued growth for the next three decades,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

“This $1.7 billion project is exactly what our Nation Building Program is all about. It will support up to 800 jobs while building the infrastructure that will underpin our nation’s longer term economic prosperity.

"Importantly, this project is just one part of the unprecedented investment the Australia Government is making in the Hunter, which also includes an extensive upgrade of the region's rail network.

The Hunter Expressway will be a 40 kilometre dual carriageway connecting the F3 to the New England Highway and include interchanges at Newcastle, Buchanan, Kurri Kurri, Loxford, Allendale and Branxton.

Its construction is a jointly funded project with $1.45 billion coming from the Australian Government and a further $200 million from the NSW Government.

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Joel Fitzgibbon “Fitzhunter”

Contact: Christine Boyd 0488 654 527 www.joelfitzgibbon.com