Oct 24, 2012

Pacific Highway driving ahead says new report card

The latest six-month Report Card setting out the progress made in the first half of this year (January to June) towards the ultimate goal of a fully duplicated Pacific Highway has today been released.

A full copy of the document can be downloaded at: www.rms.nsw.gov.au/pacific.

In summary, as at the 30 June 2012:

  • 346 kilometres of the Highway – or almost 52 per cent – had been upgraded to ‘motorway standard’ and duplicated following the completion of work on the Ballina Bypass as well as the upgrades at Glenugie and Banora Point.
  • Another 59 kilometres was under construction: Bulahdelah Bypass; Herons Creek to Stills Road; Kempsey Bypass; Sapphire to Woolgoolga; and Devils Pulpit.
  • Upgrade of the 17 kilometre Tintenbar to Ewingsdale section was awaiting approval to commence construction, which was subsequently given in September.
  • A further five projects, covering a total distance of approximately 100 kilometres, were being prepared for the start of construction: Oxley Highway to Kundabung; Kundabung to Kempsey; the Frederickton to Eungai; Warrell Creek to Nambucca; and Nambucca to Urunga.
  • Planning approval for future upgrades along more than 120 kilometres of the Highway had been sought and granted.

Since the mid-90s, the average travel times between Hexham, just north of Newcastle, and the Queensland border has been cut by up to 90 minutes and annual fatalities have been reduced from the high 40s to 24 last year.

Over the past four years, the Federal Government has committed $4.1 billion and the NSW Government a further almost $1 billion, making the Pacific Highway Duplication the most complex and expensive road project ever undertaken in Australia.