The Newcastle Inner City Bypass is a road in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie New South Wales, Australia. Alternate titles include State Highway 23, Main Road 123 and H23.
The road is divided into five sections. The southern most section is the West Charlestown Bypass, which is a 6.5 km long freeway standard road which was opened to traffic in 2003. The second section consists of parts of Charlestown Road and Lookout Road, which were widened into a divided dual carriageway non-freeway configuration during the 1980s. The third section is a planned freeway diverging from Lookout Road near the intersection of McCaffrey Drive, skirting around the west of the John Hunter Hospital and passing over Newcastle Road to join the fourth section, the Jesmond bypass, which is a freeway that was constructed during the 1990s. The fifth section is another freeway section from the northern end of the Jesmond Bypass to the Pacific Highway at Sandgate.
With the third section of the route not yet completed, a more circuitous route through suburban roads remains in use for the gap between the second and fourth sections. From the end of the Charlestown Bypass, it is necessary to follow Lookout Road, which becomes Croudace Street, before turning left onto Newcastle Road. Approximately 1.3 km (0.8 mi) after turning left, the Inner City Bypass is rejoined by turning right at the Jesmond roundabout.
Pre-construction early works for the northern most section, between Shortland and Sandgate, began in June 2010. The work to be completed as part of that contract was for digging a cutting where the Sandgate Road bridge has been built over the bypass and filling two other areas, including constructing retaining walls and relocating water mains. The contract for construction of that section was awarded to Reed Constructions in February 2011, with construction starting in April 2011. On 28 May 2012 Roads and Maritime Services decided to terminate its contract with Reed Constructions, which is in liquidation, and remaining works are being completed by Thiess Pty Ltd, the prime contractor for the Hunter Expressway.
The Shortland – Sandgate section of the bypass was unofficially opened on 16 January 2014 and was opened to traffic on 23 January 2014.