Aug 7, 2009

Call for tenders brings Sapphire to Woolgoolga upgrade a step closer

Call for tenders brings Sapphire to Woolgoolga upgrade a step closer

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

August 7 2009

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese and NSW Roads Minister Michael Daley today announced tenders had been invited for the upgrade of the Pacific Highway from Sapphire to Woolgoolga, with work to start next year.

Minister Daley was on site today to review the plans with the RTA and announce the short list of tenderers.

“The RTA has invited two parties to submit detailed tenders for this job – a joint venture between Abigroup Contractors Pty Ltd and Thiess Pty Ltd and a joint venture between Leighton Contractors Pty Ltd and Fulton Hogan Pty Ltd,” he said.

“These companies will have three months to prepare tenders that include a concept design, management plans and costs.

“The preferred contractor will then be announced in the first half of 2010, with work on the upgrade expected to start shortly after,” Mr Daley said.

Minister Albanese said this vital upgrade is expected to create more than 500 direct jobs and support three times as many indirect jobs in the local economy.

“The Sapphire to Woolgoolga upgrade is part of the Rudd Labor Government’s record investment to upgrade the nation’s biggest highway.

“The NSW and Australian governments are both funding this multi-million dollar upgrade to provide motorists with a first-class four-lane divided highway from Sapphire all the way north of Woolgoolga at Arrawarra,” he said.

“Right now, work is underway along 77 kilometres of the Pacific Highway, and this project will have many more under construction next year.

“All up, we’re now investing more than $3.6 billion over the next five years, together with the NSW Government.

“It’s our biggest commitment to a single road anywhere in Australia.

“The Pacific Highway upgrade is improving safety for drivers and local residents and cutting travel times for trucks carrying produce and products to our major cities and regional centres,” Mr Albanese said.

Mr Daley said the RTA would continue to carry out preconstruction work on site while the tender process was underway.

“Already we have RTA workers on site conducting important geotechnical investigations, with the relocation of utilities expected to start later this year,” he said.

Key features of the project are:

  • 25 kilometres of dual carriageway highway
  • Interchanges at:
    • Gaudrons Road/Split Solitary Road, Sapphire;
    • Moonee Beach Road/Hoys Road, Moonee Beach;
    • Fiddaman Road/Graham Drive South, Emerald;
    • Graham Drive North/Hearnes Lake Road, south Woolgoolga; and
    • Arrawarra Beach Road, Arrawarra.
  • An upgraded local road between Sapphire and Woolgoolga, providing safer access for the community to local properties and an alternative route for school buses and motorists who do not want to use the highway.

For more information go to www.rta.nsw.gov.au/pacific or phone the project information line on 1800 636 363 (toll free).