The contract for the construction of supports for 75 bridges along the Woolgoolga to Ballina section of the Pacific Highway upgrade has been awarded.

The contract to build the supports has been awarded to Advanced Foundation Solutions (Australia) Pty Ltd and the project will create around 90 new jobs.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester applauded the economic boost provided by the works.

“This section of the Pacific Highway upgrade is the nation’s biggest regional infrastructure project, with the highway on track to be fully duplicated by the end of the decade. It is a massive project supporting hundreds of jobs in the local economy, and is already saving dozens of lives every year while significantly improving travel times,” Mr Chester said.

New South Wales Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey said the latest contract involved delivering more than 1,100 piles for bridges being built between Glenugie and Ballina.

“Fifteen bridges have already been built as part of the Woolgoolga to Glenugie section of the upgrade, which is expected to open to traffic late this year. The award of the contract for piling involved engaging industry early in the process to help refine the final design and planning of the work which has helped achieve best value for money for the project,” Mrs Pavey said.

Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan welcomed the most recent jobs boost and said it would help support the region’s economy through a challenging time.

“Building a safer Pacific Highway and supporting local jobs is absolutely critical, now more than ever. Keeping money flowing through the region’s economy is vital and the pipeline of works will continue, with a number of bridge-building and main civil work contracts to be progressively awarded over the coming months,” Mr Hogan said.

“These works are providing a massive boost to the north coast economy, with up to 4,000 workers expected to be directly employed on the Pacific Highway when works ramp up later in 2017.”

New South Wales Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis said piling was used to create a stable foundation for bridges, structures and buildings by transferring the weight of the structure deeper into the underlying ground.

“It can take several days to complete one pile depending on its length and size. They can vary in length depending on the ground conditions and are driven or bored into the ground using a combination of cranes, piling rigs and vibrating hammers,” Mr Gulaptis said.

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