Aug 25, 2009

New stretch of Pacific Highway opens to traffic

New stretch of Pacific Highway opens to traffic

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

August 25 2009

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese and NSW Roads Minister Michael Daley today announced a 13 kilometre section of new dual carriageway was opening on the Pacific Highway between Karuah and Bulahdelah.

Minister Albanese said the traffic switch was another milestone in the $262 million upgrade which is joint-funded by the Federal and NSW Governments.

“The new northbound lanes will be opening up the end of the existing highway at the southern end of the project to Jack’s Creek in the north with a posted speed limit of 110kmh,” he said.

“This traffic switch is the first in a series of traffic changes along the highway leading up to the completion of the project at the end of this year.

“The 23 kilometre project includes seven new twin bridges, connections to existing local roads to provide safe access for the surrounding communities, eight fauna crossings and around 8.7 kilometres of fauna exclusion fencing.

“The multi-million dollar upgrade is also currently supporting around 320 direct jobs and 1,000 indirect jobs, providing a boost to both the construction industry and the local Hunter community,” Mr Albanese said.

Minister Daley said a new rest area on the northbound carriageway would also be opening up today as part of the traffic switch with 18 truck parking bays, 15 car parks, unisex disabled access toilets, seating and shelters.

“Fatigue is one of the biggest killers on our roads, which is why this much-needed rest area at Nerong Waterholes is a welcomed addition for truck drivers and families alike,” he said.

“It doesn’t matter whether you’re a professional driver or a young family going on vacation – everyone needs to take regular breaks on long trips and this new area provides drivers with another opportunity to stop and revive.

“Together with the southbound rest area at Brown’s Flat, there are now rest areas operating in both directions along this new stretch of highway, which is great to see.

“The upgrade also includes a series of truck lay-by areas along the new highway, equipped with emergency telephones and emergency cross-carriageway access points,” Mr Daley said.

Work will continue on the southbound lanes in this 13km long section for the next few weeks. Once completed, the speed limit for southbound traffic will increase to 110kmh.