The Hunter Expressway is one step closer to completion, with the reopening of the southbound onramp providing motorists with direct access to the F3 Freeway from the Newcastle Link Road.
Federal Member for Hunter, Joel Fitzgibbon, said this is one of several recent significant achievements in and around the Newcastle interchange.
Todays milestone follows the reopening of the northbound ramp in August last year, and the return to a general speed limit of 110 kilometres per hour on the freeway in April this year.
Continuing the trend of excellent progress, all eight bridges which form the Newcastle interchange will be completed next month, weather permitting, including the twin bridges over Minmi Creek.
The highest of the eight new bridges, the Hunter Expressway to Sydney bridge, will connect the expressway to the F3 Freeway southbound entry ramp.
It was pushed across the F3 Freeway in eight stages using a specialised technique known as incremental launching, with the first segment launched in April last year and the final segment launched seven months later, said Mr Fitzgibbon.
NSW Minister for the Hunter, Michael Gallacher, said other soon to be complete bridges include the cut and cover tunnel which forms part of the F3 Freeway to Newcastle exit ramp, the bridge for the Hunter Expressway to Sydney ramp and the new bridges for the eastbound road.
Safety screens have been installed on all of the bridges over the F3 Freeway and street lighting at the interchange. All bridges are now ready for asphalt surfacing, said Mr Gallacher.
The $1.7 billion project is jointly funded, with the Federal Labor Government providing $1.5 billion and the NSW Government contributing up to $200 million.