The New England Highway Bypass of Scone is headed down the home stretch.
The $137 million project is ahead of schedule, set to be finished by mid-2020 weather permitting.
The worksite hosted Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen, New England MP Barnaby Joyce, Upper Hunter Shire Mayor Wayne Bedggood with General Manager Steve MacDonald as well as representatives from Daracon and Anna Zycki, the Northern region director for Roads and Maritime Services today.
The general feeling from those there was that the bypass will help to showcase the beautiful town.
“When you are standing up here and you’re driving along it you can see it has the ability to showcase Scone and the beautiful parts of Scone for when visitors and people are travelling through,” said Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen.
Upper Hunter Shire Mayor Wayne Bedggood agreed.
“Standing up here now I get a real feel of what the town of Scone looks like from this bypass,”
“It’s actually an advertisement for the town, you drive through you can see the golf course, the sporting fields, and the town itself and I think you see more up here than on the ground so I think it will help in a lot of ways to advertise the town itself,” he said.
“Everyone is getting their head around what the town might look like and how they might benefit from it.”
The Kelly Street precinct had $7 million allocated for the revitalisation works as a part of post-bypass works, in the NSW Budget this year.
“We will be working with Council to make sure we get the plans right to be able to do the work that is actually required so there’s a lot of planning, there’s a lot of drainage work that needs to be done and there’s a lot of resurfacing, we need to understand what the surface is like underneath, there’s a whole range of things that we need to do,” said Michael Johnsen.
“Between two grants, two lots of money there’s almost $10 million that the State Government has been given Council to be able to do a substantial proportion of the work.”
Mayor Wayne Bedggood said they’ll be able to get cracking on the Kelly St works once the bypass is finished.
“We will be working closely with RMS and getting a plan together and we would like to have it open as soon as possible after the bypass but until the bypass opens we actually can’t start any work on it, we can do some small works around it but it really relies on Kelly St being fixed up first.”
Anna Zycki, the Northern region director for RMS said they are a few months ahead of schedule.
“But at this stage, you can never predict until you get much closer to the end,”
“Obviously we’re standing on dirt at the moment, so we’ve got to surface all of the road through here, concreting on the bridge, so there’s still quite a bit of work. From the town you’ll be able to see people up on the bridge quite regularly,” she said.
New England MP Barnaby Joyce said it has been great for the town while construction has been underway as well.
“It’s great to see the 200 or so people working there and the money they’ve been ploughing into the local economy into the motels, the rental places, into the supermarkets, into the coffee shops,”
At the end of the day for the economy into the future, Barnaby Joyce said: “the better the road is, the better the economy is”.
Image credit: Grant Broadcasters/Jessica Rouse and Barnaby Joyce MP