Jun 5, 2013

Historic Hume Highway, What’s your story!

Ahead of the upcoming Community Day on Sunday, 23 June to celebrate the completion of work on rebuilding and fully duplicating the Hume Highway, a new interactive website providing a unique insight into the history of this vital road has gone ‘live’: www.rms.nsw.gov.au/humecelebration.

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said the ‘Celebrating a Momentous Journey’ website also gives everyone the opportunity to record their memories about this historic road connecting the nation’s two biggest cities.

“I would urge local community members who witnessed the transformation of this road firsthand, or are amongst the 80,000 Australians who at some point worked onsite to make it happen, to share their stories for posterity,” said Mr Albanese.

“Such personal reflections and anecdotes, together with videos and photos dating from as early as 1876, will ensure the website becomes a valuable resource for anyone interested in the history of the Hume from dirt track to a modern, highly engineered highway.

“After more than half a century of almost continuous construction and the investment of billions of dollars by governments of all persuasions, I am honoured to be the nation’s Infrastructure Minister at the very time this massive nation building project draws to a conclusion.”

The Highway closely follows the path first taken by European explorers Hamilton Hume and William Hovell during their successful 1824 expedition to find an alternate inland route from Sydney to Port Phillip, the site of modern day Melbourne.  Work on its northern section between Picton and the Goulburn Plains begun in 1819 on the orders of Australia’s original nation builder, Governor Lachlan Macquarie.

NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay said the website celebrates a momentous journey.

“There are details of significant projects completed as part of the duplication, including the dual carriageway opening north of Goulburn in 1970 and the Berrima Bypass opening in 1989,” said Mr Gay.

“In fact, one RMS road worker who is currently working on the final piece of the puzzle, the Holbrook Bypass, first started working on the Hume in 1973 and has since demolished two bridges he built.

“The history and memories of the Highway go much further back than what we know today – so tell us your story!”