Hume Highway duplication

After more than 50 years of ongoing construction and the creation of an estimated 80,000 jobs in NSW, Roads and Maritime Services completed the duplication of the Hume Highway in 2013.

Linking the nation's two largest state capitals - Sydney and Melbourne - the Hume Highway is arguably Australia's most significant major highway. The opening of the Holbrook bypass in August 2013 completed the transformation from its dirt track origins into a modern, 4 lane dual carriageway highway.

Stretching a total distance of more than 800km, the completed highway provides a safer and more efficient trip for travellers and road freight between Sydney and Melbourne. The construction of 26 major bypasses in NSW has removed large trucks from local roads and towns, reducing noise and other traffic impacts on local communities.

Since 1974 the upgrade of the Hume Highway has been funded by the Federal Government.

Example of the Holbrook signage - large sign showing photo of Holbrook attraction and available services.

Bypassed towns signage trial

The bypassed towns signage trial aims to encourage travellers to stop and visit bypassed towns in regional and rural NSW. Holbrook, Macksville and Berry are part of the trial.


A short history of the Hume Highway provides a brief overview of the key milestones in the highway's history.

The Old Hume Highway: history begins with a road provides a self-guided tour of the highway, highlighting the historical significance of the towns, localities and features along its more than 500km length within NSW, from Ashfield to the Victorian border.

Our town now is an oral history telling the story of how 3 towns have changed since being bypassed, including Goulburn. It is based on original interviews with members of the local communities, and Roads and Maritime staff who were closely involved in the planning and construction of the bypasses.

Facts and figures

  • The length of the Hume in NSW runs for 514km.
  • The duplication reduced travel time from Sydney to Melbourne by an estimated 3 hours.
  • During construction, 60 to 70 million cubic metres of earth were moved.
  • A total of 96 new bridges were built.
  • 300km of new underground pipes were laid to allow adequate drainage.
  • A 600km safety fence was installed.
  • The duplication of the Hume Highway created more than 80,000 jobs in NSW.
  • There are 22 major bypasses along the length of the Hume.
  • 1.1 million tonnes of asphalt, and 2.5 million cubic metres of concrete were laid over the period of construction.

Road safety improvements

Road safety on the Hume Highway has significantly improved since the duplication project started. As well as the improved road conditions, safer vehicles, compulsory seat belts and better policing tools such as radar guns and breath testing were introduced during the construction period.

This table provides a snap shot at the reduction of road related injuries and fatalities on the Hume Highway since 1976.

Year Total crashes Inuries Fatalities
1976 2499 1453 71
1983 2088 1142 49
1993 1409 716 30
2003 1332 715 14
Most recent 1062 648 10
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