Aug 10, 2010

Pacific Highway – Sapphire to Woolgoolga duplication gets underway

Pacific Highway – Sapphire to Woolgoolga duplication gets underway

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

August 10 2010

Anthony Albanese, Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport today turned the first sod to mark the start of major construction on the $700 million Sapphire to Woolgoolga duplication of the Pacific Highway.

Minister Albanese was on site with Federal Labor Candidate for Cowper, Paul Sekfy and Mayor of Coffs Harbour City Council, Keith Rhoades.

“I was here in January this year to see firsthand the early works at the site, so I am really pleased to be back here to mark the start of construction on this important stretch of the Pacific Highway,” Mr Albanese said.

“The Sapphire to Woolgoolga upgrade is expected to support 500 jobs over the next four years, delivering a boost to the region’s economy.

“It will create 25 kilometres of four lane divided road, making the Sapphire to Woolgoolga section safer for people and cutting travel times for cars and trucks.

“The project will also help improve safety for local motorists in the growing northern suburbs of Coffs Harbour by diverting them from the highway to an upgraded local service road.

“All up, the Rudd 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 twelve years in office.

“The start of works on Sapphire to Woolgoolga means that, right now, construction is underway or about to commence on about 125 kilometres of the Pacific Highway.

“The Kempsey, Ballina, Glenugie and Bulahdelah bypasses are underway, as is the Banora Point upgrade further north.”

“We are determined to deliver this upgrade as quickly as possible to create jobs and delivering infrastructure into the long term,” Mr Sekfy said.

“I am pleased that this upgrade will make the highway a little bit safer for our local community while making sure that the produce from our farms and the products from our businesses can be transported more efficiently.”

The Sapphire and Woolgoolga upgrade is a jointly funded project, with the Federal Government contributing $610 million and the NSW Government a further $88.3 million. It is due for completion in 2014, weather permitting.

Key features of the project are:

  • Twenty-five 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 to local properties and an alternative route those not wanting to use the highway.