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Pacific Highway Upgrade

Funding Program:Investment Road and Rail Program
Transport Mode:Road
Expected Start/Finish:1996 - 2020
Corridor:Sydney - Brisbane

Project Description

The Pacific Highway upgrade is one of the largest road infrastructure projects in New South Wales (NSW) and Australia. It connects Sydney and Brisbane, and is a major contributor to Australia's economic activity.

The Australian and NSW governments have been jointly upgrading the Pacific Highway to provide a four lane divided road from Hexham, near Newcastle, to the Queensland border since 1996.


Travel Time Savings and Reduced Operating Costs

Travel times are expected to be reduced by 2.5 hours when the entire upgrade is complete. Both light and heavy vehicles are currently saving more than 2 hours. These faster travel times will reduce operating costs for freight operators.

Improved Safety

Since the commencement of the Pacific Highway upgrade in 1996, fatal crashes have halved, down from more than 40 per year prior to the upgrade commencing to fewer than 20 in 2017. It is anticipated that future upgrades will continue to improve safety, further reducing the number of fatal and casualty crashes on the highway.

Improved Amenity

The Pacific Highway upgrade will improve the amenity of many townships currently along the route. The upgrade will result in the highway bypassing many major towns, which will reduce noise, pollution and traffic and improve safety in these townships.


The Australian Government has committed $5.62 billion from 2013-14 towards the completion of the Pacific Highway upgrade.


Currently, 530km, more than 80 per cent, of the Pacific Highway between Hexham and the Queensland border is a four-lane divided road. All remaining sections of the upgrade are underway.


The upgrade comprises a number of completed projects and one project under construction.  The following are links to the individual webpages of these projects:

The following projects have recently been completed:

Photo Gallery

Disclaimer: The material contained in this site is made available on the understanding that the Department is not thereby engaged in rendering professional advice for a particular purpose. Before relying on the material in any important matter, users should carefully evaluate the accuracy, completeness and relevance of the information for their purposes and should obtain appropriate professional advice relevant to their particular circumstances.

Project details last updated: 5/04/2019