FINALLY THE FINAL STAGE OF PACIFIC HIGHWAY DUPLICATION
Minister for Roads and Freight and Minister for the North Coast Duncan Gay announced the final ‘piece of the jigsaw’ of the Pacific Highway duplication would be underway within weeks.
The Minister was joined by Member for Lismore Thomas George and Nationals Candidate for Ballina Kris Beavis.
Mr Gay said: “with contracts already awarded, works will start within weeks on the 26 kilometre upgrade between Woolgoolga to Glenugie, meaning 150 kilometres of the highway will be under construction in 2015,” Mr Gay said.
“Furthermore, with tender bids already received, the government will be able to award a delivery partner contract next month to ‘turbo charge’ construction of the final 155 kilometres of upgrades.
“By strengthening our partnership with industry we can get more bang for the taxpayer’s buck.”
“The NSW Baird Government’s fast tracking of the Pacific Highway duplication is one of the biggest transport infrastructure projects in the Southern Hemisphere, currently providing 2,200 jobs.”
Mr Gay said upgrading the Pacific Highway was about saving lives, creating skilled construction jobs and supporting local business throughout the North Coast.
“Fast tracking upgrade works is crucial to helping save lives – on average, 28 people lose their lives on the highway each year – 28 too many in my books,” Mr Gay said.
“In the last two decades, the number of lives lost on the highway has halved and by fast tracking upgrade works we can help lower this statistic even further,” Mr Gay said.
Mr George said in partnership with North Coast TAFE, the government was offering programs to ‘up skill’ locals and regional businesses – so when work comes to town, they are ready.
“When the Woolgoolga to Ballina upgrade is full steam ahead in 2017, 4,000 workers will be employed along the total length of the highway, with another 8,000 people also benefiting from the project across the North and Mid North coasts,” Mr George said.
Mr Beavis said: “the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government had invested an extra $2 billion since 2011 to fast track highway upgrades, resulting in a series of major construction milestones being completed; including:
- 8.5 km upgrade from Booral Road to Wootton Way, with an eastern bypass at Bulahdelah (opened to traffic October 2013)
- 7.3 km upgrade near Devils Pulpit (opened to traffic April 2014)
- 25 km from Sapphire to Woolgoolga upgraded (opened to traffic July 2014)
Mr Beavis said: “by the end of the year, the Tintenbar to Ewingsdale upgrade and Sancrox interchange should be open to traffic, further improving road safety and reducing travel times for millions of motorists who drive the highway each year.
“I’m proud to be part of a team fast tracking historic upgrades to the Pacific Highway – something Labor never did in 16 years of office.”