By FRANCES THOMPSON
DECKS have been installed on Hunter Expressway bridges that cross deep gullies in the Sugarloaf Range.
The federal member for the Hunter, Joel Fitzgibbon, visited the site yesterday, and said the installation of the decks showed that the project had reached a significant stage.
‘‘Everything is progressing on time and on budget,’’ Mr Fitzgibbon said.
The total length of the viaducts is 787 metres and they stand up to 47metres above the gully floors.
A truss weighing about 1000tonnes was used to drop the decks and other pre-cast concrete segments into place.
The new viaducts are located 1.4to 2.7kilometres west of the F3 freeway.
The Hunter Expressway Alliance started construction on this eastern, 13-kilometre section of the project in August last year.
It includes two interchanges – one at the F3 freeway and another at Buchanan – as well as bridges at Seahampton Road and Averys Lane.
Rest areas for light and heavy vehicles will be built on both sides of the expressway at Buchanan.
The $1.7billion Hunter Expressway is the largest infrastructure project in progress in NSW.
The federal government contributed $1.5billion to the project and the NSW government $200million.