Thiess and McMahon Contractors have been selected to design and deliver the upgrade of the Pacific Highway between Frederickton and Eungai, with construction on this section expected to begin in the middle of next year.
Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said the necessary funding has now been secured to construct this critical and long overdue upgrade on the Pacific Highway.
“More than two decades since the horrific Clybucca bus crash and after three years of planning and community consultation, I’m extremely pleased that the necessary funding has been secured to fix this notorious 26.5 kilometre section and construction work will now finally get underway next year,” said Mr Albanese.
“Once completed in 2016, this new, fully duplicated section will link up with the Kempsey Bypass which is currently under-construction and on track to be completed before Easter—more than 12 months early.”
The $762 million project will be funded on a 50-50 basis by both the Federal and NSW governments, with the new section to be built to the west of the Highway’s existing alignment—see attached map.
NSW Roads and Ports Minister Duncan Gay said the Frederickton to Eungai upgrade will save lives and further reduce journey times.
“The project will also build a major new interchange at Stuarts Point Road, install additional rest areas on both sides of the Highway south of Barraganyatti near Cooks Lane, and ensure local farmers can move equipment and livestock into and out of their properties,” said Mr Gay.
“Lastly, it will prevent the Highway from being cut by all but a once in a century flooding event.”
As at 30 June 2012, 346 kilometres—or almost 52 per cent—of the Pacific Highway had been upgraded to ‘motorway standard’. Compared to the mid-90s, the duplication that’s already been completed has reduced the time it takes to drive from Sydney to Brisbane by up to 90 minutes. Annual fatalities have been cut in half.