Jan 24, 2011

Excellent progress on Sapphire to Woolgoolga upgrade

Excellent progress on Sapphire to Woolgoolga upgrade

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

Minister for Infrastructure & Transport

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

January 24 2011

Today I inspected work on the duplication of the Pacific Highway between Sapphire and Woolgoolga, one of the largest road construction projects currently underway in NSW.

In the five months since I turned the first sod on this project there’s been significant progress, with clearing works to the east of the existing route now complete while to the west the job is approximately 70 per cent done.

I congratulate the NSW Government and its industry partners – Leighton and Fulton Hogan – on their successful efforts in keeping this project running on schedule. We are determined to deliver this long awaited upgrade as quickly as possible.

Within the coming three months, we expect to finish clearing the corridors where the new lanes will be laid and begin drilling the foundations on which the new bridges over seven major creeks will be erected. Controlled blasting on the Woolgoolga bypass near Unwins Road and north of Bark Hut Road will also commence.

So as the local community can see for themselves just how far this project has come and discuss what lays ahead, the RTA will be holding information sessions on Saturday, 26 February at the following times and locations:

  • Woolgoolga Community Village Hall: 9.30am to 11:00am;
  • Moonee Beach Hall: 1.30pm to 3:00pm

Once completed in late 2013, this new 25 kilometre section of highway will provide safer and quicker driving conditions as well as take trucks off the streets of Woolgoolga.

The duplication of the Pacific Highway between Sapphire and Woolgoolga is being jointly funded, with the Gillard Labor Government contributing $610 million and the Keneally Labor Government a further $95 million.

All up, the Gillard Labor Government is investing $3.1 billion over six years to accelerate the duplication of the Pacific Highway – more than twice what our predecessors spent during their entire 12 years in office.

Indeed if the former Howard Government had made a financial commitment similar to ours then the duplication of this road would today be nearing completion.