Meeting minutes

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Name of meeting:

Hunter Expressway Traffic and Signposting Workshop CLG Meeting 3a

Location of meeting:

Kurri Kurri TAFE – Heddon Street, Kurri Kurri – Building BB Seminar 1

Meeting facilitator:

Tony Gant (RTA)


3 March 2011




Ken Freeston, Lake Macquarie Council

David Pavey, Cessnock Council

Phil Miles, Cessnock Council

Stephen Hawes, Maitland Council

Tony Gant, RTA

Peter Carson, RTA

Hudson Bawden, RTA

Kate Hagan, RTA

Yvone Crha, RTA

Joe Krsul, RTA

Colin Nunn, RTA

Brad Parkes, RTA

Ken Saxby, RTA

Dean Simmonds, RTA

Allan Bowditch, Bowditch Group


Bob Handley, RTA; Gary Thomson, Singleton Council; Chris James, Maitland Council






All attendees were introduced.



Actions from Previous Meetings - Nil – First meeting



Hunter Expressway – Eastern Section Alliance overview.

RTA staff provided an overview of the Alliance (Eastern section) project progress.

Overview of site traffic. Copy to be provided to Council. Map to include batch plants, key locations and areas.

Slope stability issue on Dog Hole Road. Council enquiry.

Possible haul traffic road damage on Averys Lane. Will be discussed with Cessnock Council.

Advertisements to go out regarding 80km/h speed reduction on F3 Freeway at Newcastle Link Road (Newcastle interchange).

Construction signage – RTA advised that there are three signs up at each location at all areas. Table to be done by RTA of all construction areas and sent to Council.

Cartoon animation (like Kempsey Bypass) will be done for Hunter Expressway. Will be shown in RTA motor registries and will be given to Council once animation film completed.







Hunter Expressway – Western Section D&C overview.

RTA staff provided an overview of the Design and Construct (Western section) project progress.

Western section following six to nine months behind eastern section.

Compound site to be established in March at Lovedale Rd, Allandale near Allandale interchange.

Abigroup have submitted CEMP to Department of Planning and awaiting approval to start construction.

Expect to start construction in April. Two sediment basins currently under construction as part of Early Works.

Design is at 85% stage.

Vegetation clearing footprint progressing. Very tight clearing constraints.

Intelligent Transport System (ITS) cables/conduits to be in trench in corridor. Addition to contract.

Black Creek bridge to be raised due to outcomes of recent Hunter River flood study by Maitland and Cessnock councils. Maximum flood height based on 100 year flood event in Hunter River (back water from Hunter River) and 5 year flood event in Black Creek. RTA undertaking independent review of flood study.



Hunter Expressway – Project overview

Major sources of quarry materials to be collated by RTA once contracts are signed. Abigroup to provide estimate of quantities from various sources. Query on where they are going and what roads will they use. What roads would Allandale Quarry use?

Council site tour to be organised. Split by east and west sections.


Section 138 consent




Traffic Overview

2001 Director Generals Report.

1995 Environmental Impact Statement identified a range of positive and negative impacts on the existing road network due to the redistribution of traffic across the road network.

2001 Representation Report responded to all submissions received from government agencies, councils and the public including traffic-related enquiries.

In 2001 the DOP commissioned independent consultants to undertake a peer review of the RTA’s traffic modelling. The peer review found that the RTA’s modelling predictions were generally consistent with surveyed growth rates. The 2001 traffic modelling identified the following roads that are projected to have increased traffic:

Buchanan Road, Buchanan

Newcastle Link Road, both east and west of Minmi Road

Minmi Road, Edgeworth

F3 south of George Booth Drive

Cameron Park Drive

Main Road, Gilleston Heights

Allandale Road, Allandale

The 2001 D-G DOP’s report to the Minister for Planning’s approval of the Hunter Expressway states that any modelling used to make crucial decisions regarding mitigation strategies that are proposed to be applied to specific developments, such as the Hunter Expressway, should be verified once the development becomes operational.

In this context, the RTA is required tp prepare an Environmental Impact Audit Report (EIAR) at 1 year, 2 years and 5 years after opening of the project. Traffic impacts and projections are nominated as one of the key considerations in the EIAR.

The Minister for Planning’s 2001 approval of the project did not require the RTA to upgrade any State or Local roads. However the RTA undertook to review traffic projections during the design and construction planning phases of the project.

Submissions were received to the public display of the EIS in 1995 concerning increased traffic on Minmi Road Edgeworth, Buchanan Road Buchanan, Lovedale Road Allandale, possible short cutting through Abermain and request for direct liaison with stakeholders on signposting design.

Lower Hunter Regional Strategy

Traffic modelled low, moderate and high population growth. Study differed to Department of Planning expectations in some areas.

Study has now been revised to reflect changes to the Huntlee development. Huntlee expected to be released somewhere between 2016 to 2026.

Rate of development has not occurred in some areas as RTA modelled.

Department of Planning to review the Strategy in next six months.

Traffic Model Presentation

Presentation showed traffic volumes in key roads around project.

Model numbers used where traffic volumes are not known.

Green figure represent worst case scenario.

Year of traffic count mention next to volumes.

Weekday volumes used. Volumes higher than average.

Hunter Expressway predicted volumes shown.

Opening date used is 2016.

Showed reduction in volumes at;

New England Highway through Greta, Rutherford, East Maitland, Thornton west of Weakleys Drive, Weakleys Drive, Wine Country Drive south of Lovedale Road, estimated volume, Council to provide actual), Sawyers Gully Road, Mitchell Avenue, John Renshaw Drive west of interchange, George Booth Drive west of freeway,

Showed increase in volumes at;

Wine Country Drive at Branxton end, Lovedale Road between Lovedale interchange and Camp Road, Government Road, Cessnock Rd East of Hunter Expressway (increase in Cliftleigh and Gilleston Heights), Maitland Road south of railway (people turning onto Hunter Expressway), Buchanan Road, John Renshaw Drive east of interchange, Newcastle Link Road (after opening), Lovedale Road from Camp Road to Majors Lane , Cessnock Road access to Kurri Kurri, (

Showed no significant change in volumes at;

Hexham, Maitland Road from Kurri Kurri to Cessnock in line with average growth,
Council requested volumes to be added at;

Allandale Road interchange to New England Highway east, Lochinvar development area, Cameron Park Drive, George Booth Drive from Richmond Vale Rd midway (Volumes to reflect haul routes), Minmi Road, Majors Lane from Lovedale Road to Wine Country Drive, Majors Lane, Lovedale Road between Wine Country Drive and Majors Lane, Wilderness Road, North side of Allandale Road.

And volumes to included;

Weekend traffic.

Council requested:

Map of traffic volumes. RTA to provide updated map at next meeting. RTA to provide map without volumes.

Development Zones to be added to Map.

Traffic model for 2031 to be presented at future meeting.

F3 to Newcastle community newsletter handed out to Council. Comments period closes on 4 April 2011.


Signposting Layout Review

Maps of Directional Signposting scheme sent prior to meeting.

Signs included;

Hunter Valley Vineyards, Hunter Valley Gardens, Travel times, Routes, Airport, three main routes – Route one is existing route – Route two is Hunter Expressway/Maitland Road/Cessnock Road – Route three is Hunter Expressway/Wine Country Drive (including kms and travel times).

Existing signs to stay as is south of Freeway interchange.

Signposting directing traffic to Pacific Highway, Hexham.

Alphanumeric system used. Not adopted in NSW currently. RTA will use whichever system is in place when installing signs.

Interchanges will not be named.

Smelter signposted for emergencies. Sign to be amended to include Weston on Smelter/Hart Road sign.

Signposting direct traffic to information centre not to vineyards.

Overhead roads will be signposted.

Naming – Both rest areas and selected bridges will given names of significance eg. Aboriginal/geographical/historical heritage.

Council queried;

Remote signage eg. Cessnock to Charlestown, Minmi Road load limit, Maitland.
RTA advised;

Charlestown and Maitland too far from Hunter Expressway and not on route.

Council queried;

Community consultation on signposting.

RTA advised;

Council to be consulted for comments and provide any stakeholders that need to be consulted. Formal letter to be issued to council on matter. RTA to respond to comments and suggestions from Council and stakeholders with explanation.

Council queried;

Kurri Kurri Information Centre tourism sign.

RTA advised;

Accreditation needed with Department of Tourism and depends on what level they are.

Council requested.

Copy of drawings shown to be provided with minutes.

Cessnock be added to Wine Country Drive sign below Branxton.

Maitland to be added to Greta sign.


General Business

Cessnock Council advised letter addressing items from action item at last Council Liaison Group Meeting received. Council to reply to RTA if any issues are outstanding.


Next meeting: Council Liaison Group Meeting 21 April 2011

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