Eighteen kilometres of the 23km Pacific Highway upgrade in NSW has opened between the Oxley Highway and Kundabung.
Federal Member for Cowper, Luke Harsuyker, said the $820 million project was progressively opening to traffic in two stages.
“(The opening) moves the Pacific Highway upgrade another step closer to delivering a four-lane divided road between Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour. This will support local farmers and freight operators, while also ensuring traffic moves smoothly throughout the year,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
Federal Member for Lyne, David Gillespie, said 78 per cent of the overall 657km Pacific Highway upgrade, had now been completed between Hexham and the Queensland border.
“The new section of road bypasses the town of Telegraph Point and is the fourth major project to open since May last year. This project has delivered a significant economic boost to our region throughout construction and will continue to do so for many years to come,” Dr Gillespie said.
NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, Melinda Pavey, said the Oxley Highway to Kundabung section involved building 23 bridges, including across the Hastings and Wilson rivers, and interchanges at Sancrox Rd, Blackmans Point Rd and Haydons Wharf Rd.
“In early 2018, the remaining five kilometres of southbound road will open to become a four-lane divided road with a permanent speed limit of 110km/h,” Mrs Pavey said.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester, said the opening was as a significant day for motorists, as the full Pacific Highway upgrade progresses towards completion in 2020.
“The multi-billion dollar upgrade of the Pacific Highway is already saving lives — the number of fatalities has halved since the upgrade began. In addition, motorists are already saving close two hours in drive time between Hexham and the Queensland border,” Mr Chester said.