Federal funding for the $120 million Scone Bypass project in New South Wales has been approved, with construction slated for late 2017.
The Australian Government is contributing $65 million to the project while the New South Wales Government is providing $55 million.
The four-kilometre bypass is aimed at creating a safer and more efficient road network for the local region, and supporting regional producers.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the funding approval meant work on the bypass could get started later this year.
“Putting this money on the table to build the bypass is another step towards a more prosperous regional Australia. We are committed to seeing the region thrive, and putting in a bypass means safer local streets, better freight movement and less congestion on local roads,” Mr. Chester said.
“We’ve worked hard to make this project a reality – together, the Australian and New South Wales governments committed an extra $30 million at the 2016 election to make sure there were no holdups with the project,” said Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester. “We want to ensure the region’s farmers and producers remain well-connected to global and domestic markets, keeping them viable and competitive.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Member for New England Barnaby Joyce said the bypass help Scone residents in the creation of hundreds of direct and indirect jobs.
“Having to negotiate with heavy freight traffic as you are trying to cross a road to get a loaf of bread is never great, and what this bypass will do is shift some of that traffic outside of Scone’s CBD,” Mr. Joyce said.
“It will also help freight operators and residents, who will no longer experience significant delays from two rail crossings intersecting the New England Highway. Currently, large freight trains hinder traffic for up to two hours each day and this will only increase as more freight moves by rail.
“The bypass will fix that problem and allow the region to reach the potential by providing the infrastructure it needs to grow.”