Contractors wait for green light on new bypass

Three construction contractors have been invited to tender for the Stage 5 of the Newcastle Inner City Bypass (Highway 23) project that includes 3.4 kilometres of new four-lane road and three interchanges. The design and main construction works contract, worth $450 million, covers Rankin Park to Jesmond in Newcastle.

A northern interchange will provide access to Newcastle Road and the existing Jesmond to Shortland section of the new bypass. The hospital interchange will provide access between the John Hunter Hospital precinct and the inner city bypass. And a southern interchange will provide access to Lookout Road and the existing Kotara to Rankin Park section of the bypass, and this will travel under McCaffrey Drive.

Other key features in the tender include structures along the new road for drainage, access for animals and bushwalkers, and large cut and fill embankments due to steep and undulating terrain. Tie in and upgrades to connecting roads will also be required along with pedestrian and cycling facilities, a shared path bridge over Newcastle Road, and noise barriers and or architectural treatment as required.

The tender process is open until 17 December 2021 and is restricted to the successful applicants from the Registration of Interest process conducted earlier this year: John Holland; Fulton Hogan; and NEWLink (joint venture of BMD Constructions and Ditchfield Contracting).

The successful contractor will have to wait till early 2022 to find out if they get the green light for the project. Early works are expected to be completed by July next year, NSW Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance said, adding that 900 jobs are expected to be created during the major works.

Construction is set to start in the second half of 2022, with the Newcastle Inner City Bypass expected to be open to traffic in 2025, according to Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, and Regional Development, Barnaby Joyce.

Image source: Transport NSW

About the author

Desi Corbett

Desi is the Editor of Concrete in Australia and at the helm of our magazine for eight years. She was behind the Institute's weekly news bulletins from 2016-2021 and is now writing our focused news items. Desi has been an engineering news and features journalist/editor across all disciplines since 2013 - part of a 30-year career writing for a wide range of industries.