Nov 14, 2011

Scene of nation’s worst road accident closer to being fixed

More than 20 years since the horrific Clybucca bus crash and after two years of planning and community consultations, work will start on the duplication the Pacific Highway between Frederickton and Eungai next year, with major construction to kickoff in mid-2013.

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese today joined NSW Acting Premier Andrew Stoner near the rapidly taking shape Kempsey Bypass to make the announcement and to urge those construction companies interested in designing and delivering this major project to register their details with the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) by 15 December.

“Given the many years of inaction and buck passing, I am proud to be the Federal Transport Minister who’s been able to secure the funding and achieved the cooperation necessary to getting this job done,” said Mr Albanese.

“I also pay tribute to the local community.  We’re here today because of their long and persistent campaign to have this road fixed once and for all.  They know that far too many Australians have already lost their lives in accidents which could have been prevented.

“Despite our decision to triple the amount of Federal dollars being invested in the Highway, I’m the first to acknowledge that there’s still much to be done.  That’s why today I also announced the bringing forward of $490 million to make sure the work now underway along this road can be completed as a matter of urgency.”

The Pacific Highway Duplication is the most complex and most expensive road construction project ever to be undertaken in Australia.  This massive nation building project is being jointly funded, with the Federal Government having already committed $4.1 billion and the NSW Government a further $1 billion.

NSW Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner said today’s announcements were proof both levels of government were serious about getting on with the job of finishing the upgrade of the Pacific Highway as soon as possible.

“The horrific events at Clybucca over 20 years ago left an indelible mark on our community and it is a relief to know that work will soon begin on this deadly stretch of road,” Mr Stoner said.

“The duplication of the 26.5 kilometre section between Frederickton and Eungai is the second stage of a much broader project, with the first being construction of the Kempsey Bypass which is now on track to be completed 12 months early in mid-2013.

“We will continue to work with the Federal Government to get the job done on the Pacific Highway.”

Projects currently underway:

  • Construction of the Ballina Bypass, which will open to traffic later this month – Federal contribution: $450 million; State contribution: $190 million.
  • Duplication of the road between Sapphire and Woolgoolga, with work expected to be completed in 2013 – Federal contribution: $632 million; State contribution: $73 million.
  • Construction of the Bulahdelah upgrade, with work expected to be completed in 2012 – Federal contribution: $303.6 million; State contribution: $11.4 million.
  • Construction of the Kempsey Bypass, with work expected to be completed in 2013 – Federal contribution: $618 million.
  •  Upgrade and realignment of the road at Banora Point, with work expected to be completed in 2012 – Federal contribution: $349 million; State contribution: $10 million.

In addition, work will start early in the new year on the following major projects:

  • Duplicating the road between Tintenbar and Ewingsdale – Federal contribution: $566 million; State contribution: $296 million.
  •  Duplicating the road at Devils Pulpit – Federal contribution: $62 million; State contribution: $15 million.

For more information about the Kempsey bypass call the project’s toll-free information line on  1800 306 004       or follow the links from the RTA’s Pacific Highway upgrade homepage at www.rta.nsw.gov.au/pacific.