Oct 2, 2009

Upgraded Pacific Highway open in time for holiday

Upgraded Pacific Highway open in time for holiday

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

October 2 2009

The duplication of the Pacific Highway between Karuah and Bulahdelah has been completed and is now open to traffic – one month ahead of schedule and in time for the upcoming school holidays.

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese and NSW Transport Minister David Campbell said completion of this $262 million project is a significant milestone towards the full duplication of the Highway from Brisbane to Sydney.

“I congratulate the NSW Government and Abigroup on completing this vital road project on budget and ahead of schedule. Motorists can now look forward to shorter travel times as well as safer and better driving conditions along this 23 kilometre section of Highway,” said Mr Albanese.

“This project is what the Rudd Labor Government’s Nation Building for Recovery strategy is all about. Directly and indirectly it has put 1,320 Australians to work building infrastructure vital to our nation’s long term economic prosperity.”

The Karuah to Bulahdelah duplication project was funded by both the Federal ($165 million) and NSW ($97 million) governments.

Mr Campbell said there is now 227 kilometres of continuous four lane highway from Sydney to Bulahdelah.

“As well as delivering safer driving conditions for all motorists, this newly upgraded section of Highway includes much needed roadside facilities for truck drivers,” said Mr Campbell.

“In particular, there are now rest areas on the northbound carriageway at Nerong Waterholes and the southbound carriageway at Browns Flat, providing truck drivers with additional safe places to take a break.

“Finally I want to thank motorists for the patience they have shown during the two and half year construction period.”

The other key features of this new section of Highway are:

  • Seven new twin bridges;
  • A truck stopping area with emergency telephones and emergency turning points;
  • Bus bays and turn around areas on major side roads;
  • Continuous 2.5 metre wide sealed shoulder suitable for cyclists;
  • Fauna underpasses and crossings at Nerong Road, Waterholes Gap and Burdekins Gap as well as nine kilometres of fauna exclusion fencing; and
  • New highway connects to existing local roads such as Viney Creek Road West, Viney Creek Road East, Whimbrel Drive and Myall River Road.

“As one project comes to an end work is already gearing up on the next major upgrade to the Pacific Highway, with construction of the new $310 million Bulahdelah bypass expected to start early next year,” said Mr Albanese.

“In fact, work on this project will be get underway some three months early following our decision to bring forward funding in our Economic Stimulus Plan.

“Once completed at the end of 2011, the new bypass will deliver safer driving conditions, cut travel times and take up to 4,000 trucks a day off the local streets of Bulahdelah.

“All up, we’ve committed $3.1 billion over six years to accelerate the duplication of the Pacific Highway – more than twice what our predecessors spent on this vital road during their entire twelve years in office.”