Member for Port Macquarie, Leslie Williams MP, and Member for Oxley, Melinda Pavey MP, have announced the five Pacific Highway upgrade projects between Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour will progressively open to traffic in the next two years with significant progress being made across the 105 kilometres of work.
Mrs Williams said the $230 million Australian and NSW government funded Kundabung to Kempsey Pacific Highway upgrade had taken a major leap forward with the first concrete pavement work now under way.
“More than 100,000 cubic metres of concrete will be poured during the next 18 months as work starts on the road base for the 14 kilometre upgrade,” Mrs Williams said.
“Today the first concrete was poured to form the base for the road as part of the $230 million Australian and NSW government funded project.
“The work we are seeing today will help saves lives. It also will benefit local communities with businesses and residents set to enjoy the flow on benefits from major construction works continuing over the next few years in the region.
“At peak concrete production about 50 employees will be directly involved in paving the new highway alignment.
“About 500 metres of paving will be completed per day, with concreting work expected to finish in early 2017 weather permitting.”
Mrs Pavey said further up the coast work was well under way on the 26.5 kilometre Frederickton to Eungai upgrade where nearly 70 per cent of concrete paving is complete.
“Two concrete manufacturing plants were established for the 26.5 kilometre upgrade to produce 140,000 cubic metres of concrete.
“These on-site concrete plants were established to reduce the number of heavy vehicles travelling along the existing Pacific Highway, keeping our roads safe and allowing more efficient project management and delivery as well.
“Half of the 20 new bridges on the project are complete and the remaining are well advanced.
“Recently the twin bridges over Collombatti Creek, Seven Oaks Drain and the Collombatti floodplain were opened to traffic.
“The entire $675 million 26.5 kilometre Frederickton to Eungai upgrade will open to traffic next year.”
“The benefits from the project can also be seen in our local communities and today we inspected the girder manufacturing facility being built on Old Coast Road, North Macksville for Warrell Creek to Nambucca Heads.
“The facility is expected to be operational by the end of the year with all bridge girders for the project to be made on site, employing an estimated 40 people at peak production.
“Producing these girders within the project boundary will reduce the time needed to transport the girders and avoid significant delays to motorists along the Pacific Highway.
“Today’s inspections show the Australian and NSW governments’ commitment to improving safety and travel times for the thousands of motorists who travel the Pacific Highway between Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour each year.
“With the five sections on track to progressively open to traffic by the end of 2017, motorists can expect to save nearly 20 minutes of travel time and a benefit from a safer journey.”