In 2016, Infrastructure Australia listed the Pacific Highway M1 extension from Raymond Terrace to Black Hill as a "Priority" with a near-term priority of 0 to 5 years. The 2020 Infrastructure Priority List reveals this project is STILL a priority, and no work has been done to further the project.
The Morrison Government blames the Berejiklian Government. The Berejiklian Government blame the Morrison Government. If either of those governments care about regional infrastructure, this project would be a high priority, the business case would be completed, and the project would be underway.
Instead, only four per cent of funding for the M1 extension has been made available by the Morrison Government in the next five years.
The Pacific Highway is one of the most used roads in NSW.
According to Infrastructure Australia, more than 21,000 vehicles use the M1 in afternoon peak times and this number is expected to increase by over 35 percent by 2031 – or at least 7,560 vehicles. In holiday peak times travel time on the stretch of road is reduced to as little as 20 kilometre per hour, adding over two hours to the journey.
This project would include:
- 15 kilometres of dual carriageway motorway with two lanes in each direction, bypassing Hexham and Heatherbrae;
- New interchanges at Black Hill, Tarro, Tomago, and Raymond Terrace;
- A 2.6 kilometre bridge over Woodlands Close, the Main Northern Railway, New England Highway and Hunter River.
The project would create hundreds of jobs during the construction phase in the Hunter and Port Stephens and boost productivity by reducing traffic congestion for local residents, tourists, businesses and truck drivers.
To find out more about this project, go to https://www.infrastructureaustralia.gov.au/map/pacific-motorway-m1-extension-raymond-terrace.