Nov 17, 2009

Pacific Highway upgrade continues to move forward

Pacific Highway upgrade continues to move forward

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

November 17 2009

With construction of the Kempsey Bypass set to start within months, the Rudd and Rees Labor governments are wasting no time moving to finalise the planning and preconstruction work for the upgrade of the Pacific Highway between Frederickton and Eungai.

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese today confirmed that together both governments have committed $57.6 million to do the detailed planning and prepare the site, with this pre-construction work set to get underway early next year.

“By doing this work now we will be in a position to begin major construction activities following completion of the Bypass,” said Mr Albanese.

“Importantly, this work will identify potential engineering challenges as well as calculate accurate costings and determine a reliable construction timetable.

“All governments agree on the need to complete the duplication of the Pacific Highway. Today’s announcement underscores our determination to get the job done as quickly as possible.

“It also builds on the decision we took in our first two budgets to more than double Federal investment in this road. In partnership with NSW we are investing $3.6 billion over six years from the Nation Building Program.”

Frederickton to Eungai is the second stage of the much broader 40 kilometre long Kempsey to Eungai project, with the Kempsey Bypass being Stage 1.

The NSW Minister Assisting the Minister for Transport David Borger said he is pleased to provide a NSW government funding contribution to get this very important project ready for construction.

Key features of the project will be:

  • More than 26 kilometres of dual carriageway to the west of the existing Highway;
  • A flood free route with a 1 in 100 year flood immunity;
  • An interchange near the northern end providing access to:
    • Stuarts Point Road;
    • The current highway which would continue to be used as a local road connecting towns such as South West Rocks, Smithtown and Gladstone;
    • The village of Eungai Rail.
  • Provisions for a new heavy vehicle inspection station for southbound vehicles, replacing the existing one at Kundabung.

Every day, 9,900 vehicles, including 2,200 trucks, use this section of the Pacific Highway.