The Hume Highway Duplication Project involved the reconstruction of Hume Highway that starts from Sydney and ends in Melbourne. The duplication of 808km of highway started in the mid-1970s and was completed in June 2013. The Hume Highway runs for 514km in New South Wales and 294km in Victoria.

The duplication project created more than 80,000 jobs in New South Wales. The project was funded by the Federal Government and the State Government of New South Wales.

Purpose of the Hume Highway Duplication Project

“The project was funded by the Federal Government and the State Government of New South Wales.”

The Hume Highway operated with single-lane traffic in during the 1960s. However, commuter traffic between Sydney and Melbourne has increased over past few decades and in turn the number of accidents have increased. The highway also passes through various towns leading to local congestion and risks to pedestrians.

Therefore, it was decided by both the Sydney and Melbourne governments that the best option was to duplicate and rebuild the existing highway. The travel time between Sydney and Melbourne has been reduced by three hours upon completion of the project.

History of the Hume Highway Duplication Project

Duplication of the Hume highway started in mid 1970s, involving the construction of dual carriageways and new bridges across the north of Goulburn. A 10km dual carriageway near Goulburn (south) and a grade separated interchange that is linked with the Federal Highway were completed in 1972.

South Western Freeway and Bowning Deviation were opened to traffic in 1973 and South Western Freeway was extended to Narellan Road near Campbelltown in 1974. Construction of twin concrete bridges at Paddys River were completed in 1974. South Western Freeways between Yanderra-Aylmerton and Campbelltown-Mittagong were opened to traffic in 1977 and 1980 respectively.

Construction on the first stage of Tumblong Deviation was started in 1983. An interchange at Illawarra Highway was completed in 1987. Berrima Bypass was opened to traffic in 1989. A road between Coppabella Road and Reedy Creek was completed in 1991. The Mittagong Bypass and the Goulburn Bypasses were completed in 1992. Cullarin Range Deviation and a bypass at Gunning was opened in 1993.

Related project

Ballina Bypass, New South Wales (NSW), Australia

Ballina Bypass is a 12km long four-way dual carriageway linking the Pacific Highway in North Ballina with the Bruxner Highway Intersection in South Ballina. It extends from South Ballina to North Tintenbar.

Yass Bypass was completed in 1994, with a connection to the Barton Highway at Yass and Jugiong Bypasses finished in 1995. Tarcutta Range Deviation and Bookham Bypass were also completed in 1996 and 1998 respectively.

Grade separated interchanges at South and North Gundagai were completed in 1999 and 2006 respectively. Albury Wodonga Hume Freeway and Bowning Bypass were inaugurated in 2007. Duplication work on the Sheahan Bridge at Gundagai Bypass and Coolac Bypass was completed in 2009. Construction on Woomargama Bypass and Tarcutta Bypass was completed in 2011.

The final phase of the Hume Highway Duplication project was completed with the opening of the Holbrook Bypass in June 2013.

Construction of the Hume Highway Duplication Project

Hume highway duplication was carried out in ten different sections between Ashfield and Albury.

Section 1 involved the duplication of approximately 35km from Ashfield to Carnes Hill. Section 2 was from Carnes Hill to Bargo (57km). Section 3 included construction from Bargo to Sutton Forest (48km). Section 4 was the Sutton Forest to Yarra (67km) stretch. Construction of Section 5 was from Yarra to Gunning (39km). Section 6 was Gunning to Bowning (50km).

Construction of Section 7 was from Bowning to Coolac (74km). Section 8 involved construction from Coolac to Tarcutta (61km). Construction of Section 9 was from Tarcutta to Holbrook (67km). Section 10 was from Holbrook to Albury (70km).

The preliminary works involved approximately 90 million m³ of earth work. The highway duplication between New South Wales and Victoria involved construction of 205 new bridges, 49 major bypasses and 68 new interchanges. The construction also involved laying a new 300km underground pipeline for the drainage system and a 600km safety fence along the highway. The construction utilised 1.1 million tonnes of asphalt and 2.5 million m³ of concrete.

Contractors involved with the Hume Highway Duplication Project

Northern Hume Alliance (NHA) received a $418m contract to design and build 35km of Hume Highway between Sturt Highway and Holbrook in 2007. The NHA team included New South Wales Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA), Leighton Contractors, Faber Maunsell (now AECOM), Coffey Geotechnics and Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation.

“The duplication project created more than 80,000 jobs in New South Wales.”

Hume Highway Southern Alliance received a contract in 2007 to design and build 32km of the Hume Highway from Woomargama to Table Top. The alliance included the RTA, Abigroup and Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM).

Network Geotechnics constructed 45km of pavements as part of the project. MAAS Group supplied eight excavators, graders, watercarts, dump trucks, bulldozers and rollers for the project.

Fulton Hogan was involved in the construction of the Sheahan Bridge, which is an integral part of the Hume Highway Duplication project. Construction of the bridge commenced in October 2007.