With the duplication of the Pacific Highway complete, construction of the Coffs Harbour bypass underway and planning in its final stage for the M1 Pacific Motorway extension to Raymond Terrace, a NSW Nationals MP says it’s now time to begin planning the next phase of the Pacific Highway upgrade program.
Federal NSW Nationals Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie has told Parliament that the next phase of investment must include overpasses and interchanges at critical intersections where there have been several fatal accidents and increased traffic flows in recent years.
“Population growth along the Pacific Highway corridor, combined with increasing tourism traffic has made many of these major intersections busy at peak times, raising further safety concerns,” Dr Gillespie said.
“In recent times, we have seen fatal accidents at these busy intersections and it’s now time for them all to be upgraded.”
Dr Gillespie has called on the state government to complete the planning process for the upgrade of major intersections. The intersections Dr Gillespie says need to be included in the next phase of the Pacific Highway Upgrade Program include:
- An interchange for Medowie Road, Italia Road and Bucketts Way linking Newcastle Airport the Pacific Highway, western villages, Gloucester and the Barrington Tops with the Pacific Highway
- An interchange at Myall Way linking Tea Gardens & Hawks Nest with the Pacific Highway
- An interchange at Failford Road linking Forster-Tuncurry with the Pacific Highway.
- An interchange at Harrington Road linking Coopernook and Harrington with the Pacific Highway.
- An interchange Houston Mitchell Drive at Lake Cathie-Bonny Hills with the Pacific Highway
- Upgrade of the Oxley Highway interchange linking Wauchope and Port Macquarie with the Pacific Highway
“Most of the upgrade north of Port Macquarie has been done in recent years and includes interchanges and flyovers at the major intersections, however it is the areas further south where the initial upgrade began and the priority at the time was more about converting the highway from two to four lanes and onto dual carriageways,” Dr Gillespie said.
“All of these intersections are a priority and need to be upgraded sooner rather than later. It is something we must put on the agenda now so that further investment can be made by the NSW Nationals in the state and federal governments.
“The community at all of these locations are seeking interchanges and overpasses at these intersections and I believe they deserve nothing less.”
Dr Gillespie said he would be raising the need for a further phase of the Pacific Highway Upgrade Program directly with the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and the NSW Minister for Regional Roads and Transport.