The Pacific Highway is a safer road from today with the opening of the long-awaited Bulahdelah Bypass.
The opening coincides with the start of the school holidays and will be particularly welcome for the thousands of families heading north for the winter warmth.
While the upgrade opens today, from Monday northbound traffic will be temporarily diverted so that noise barriers, surfacing and landscaping can be completed.
The upgrade will open permanently in late July, weather permitting.
“Not only will locals and travellers enjoy a modern, safe road but the people of Bulahdelah will no longer be divided by a highway with thundering trucks and cars through the middle of town,” says Deputy Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese.
“From Hexham to Port Macquarie, the Pacific Highway is now two lanes in each direction, and we are 56 per cent of the way towards its complete duplication.”
NSW Minister for Roads and Ports, Duncan Gay, said the community had enjoyed a preview of the bypass during a community day at Alum Mountain Park last weekend.
“The overall Bulahdelah upgrade included construction of 12 bridges, including twin 245 metre bridges over the Myall River, and a steel truss bridge providing access to the significant Alum Mountain Park.
“The project involved the removal of about 1.1 million cubic metres of material, the equivalent of some 440 Olympic swimming pools,” said Mr Gay.
Construction of the new 8.6 kilometre Bulahdelah Bypass is part of the ongoing upgrade and full duplication of the Pacific Highway, a massive nation building project being jointly funded by the Federal ($7.9 billion) and NSW ($2.5 billion) governments.