Earthmoving News

Work begins on M1 Pacific Motorway extension

Construction is now underway on M1 Pacific Motorway extension to Raymond Terrace

Construction has begun on the M1 Pacific Motorway extension, which will add an additional 15km and take the highway to Raymond Terrace, just north of Newcastle.

The $2.1 billion M1 extension, which includes upgrades to the surrounding network, such as the Hexham Straight widening has $1.68 billion in funding from the Australian government and $420 million from the NSW government.

The extension will remove five sets of traffic lights and see the building of a 2.6km viaduct over the Hunter River and floodplain, the Main North Rail Line, and the New England Highway.

There will also be new bridge crossings over local waterways at Tarro and Raymond Terrace, and an overpass for Masonite Road at Heatherbrae.

This is one of two remaining locations on the east coast corridor where the route is an urban road with traffic lights – the other being at Coffs Harbour, where work is also underway on a new bypass, which is due to be completed in late 2027.

The M1 extension at Raymond Terrace is expected to be open to traffic in 2028.

“It’s so exciting to stand alongside the NSW government and see shovels in the ground for a project which will be a huge benefit to travellers and truck drivers, but also to Hunter Valley families,” prime minister Anthony Albanese says.

“This upgrade will mean quicker travel times between Sydney and Brisbane, but most importantly – safer travel for families and workers who use this route going up and down the east coast.”

Federal infrastructure, transport, regional development and local government minister Catherine King adds:

“The M1 extension will create more efficient and reliable journeys by bypassing five sets of traffic lights, saving nine minutes in travel time and removing about 25,000 vehicles a day from key congestion and merge points between Newcastle and Maitland.

“I’m delighted that both the Australian and NSW governments are working together to complete the job so locals across the Hunter can see an end to the traffic chaos and daily delays.”

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