Green light for M1 Pacific Motorway extension to Raymond Terrace

One of the Hunter region’s biggest ever infrastructure projects is a step closer to construction with the M1 Pacific Motorway extension to Raymond Terrace given the official green light by the Australian and New South Wales Governments. 

The Australian Government has approved the project under national environment law, meaning works can begin. 

The $2.1 billion project is jointly funded, with the Australian Government contributing $1.68 billion, and the NSW Government investing $420 million. 

The project will deliver a 15-kilometre extension of the M1 Pacific Motorway from Black Hill to Raymond Terrace, including a 2.6-kilometre-long bridge over the New England Highway and Hunter River. 

The surrounding network will also be upgraded, including the Hexham Straight Widening of around six kilometres of the Pacific Highway/Maitland Road to three lanes in each direction between the Newcastle Inner City Bypass at Sandgate and the New England Highway at Hexham Bridge. 

Once complete, the extension will create more efficient and reliable journeys by bypassing five sets of traffic lights, and removing about 25,000 vehicles a day from key congestion and merge points between Newcastle and Maitland. 

The Australian and NSW Governments have announced the John Holland Gamuda Australia Joint Venture as the contractors for the southern section of the project, covering a 10-kilometre section extending from Black Hill to Tomago.

Seymour Whyte Constructions will deliver the northern contract, completing the five-kilometre section that will bypass Heatherbrae. 

The project is expected to be open to traffic in mid-2028, weather permitting. 

More information is available at:

Quotes attributable to Federal Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister Catherine King: 

“The Australian Government is committed to working with all state and territory governments to deliver a safe and efficient road network across the nation.

“The M1 Pacific Motorway extension to Raymond Terrace will be a key link in this vital piece of the nation’s infrastructure. 

“Demand on the road network in this area is only expected to increase as local populations grow. We know that extending the M1 will provide improved traffic flow and increased connectivity. 

“Getting the official tick to move forward is exciting news for the community as we continue to build the infrastructure that communities in regional NSW deserve.” 

Quotes attributable to NSW Regional Transport and Roads Minister Sam Farraway: 

“The NSW Government is building the infrastructure that matters to keep our great state moving forward. 

“This project is also set to create better access for key employment areas and support freight servicing the Hunter Valley mining industry, the Port of Newcastle and interstate freight – meaning it will have local, regional and national economic benefits. 

“The 15-kilometre extension includes a four-lane divided motorway with two lanes in each direction, four new interchanges and a 2.6-kilometre viaduct over the Hunter River and floodplain, the Main North Rail Line and the New England Highway. 

“We now have the official planning approval to get on with the job of delivering one of the biggest infrastructure projects the Hunter region has ever seen to make daily life easier for families, businesses and truckies.” 

Quotes attributable to the Federal Member for Paterson Meryl Swanson: 

“This is an exciting step forward in this project, which is the last remaining bottleneck on the Pacific Highway between Sydney and Brisbane – and even better that it’s happened ahead of schedule. 

“I know Hunter locals who frequently travel between Maitland and Newcastle are very much looking forward to this extension, making for a safer and faster journey. 

“I have been focused on this as a priority project since my election seven years ago, and it’s great to be working alongside the Australian and NSW Governments to make it a reality.”