The first 14km of the 20km Pacific Highway upgrade in NSW has opened with two key bypasses complete.
Former Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester, said the opening of the Macksville and Nambucca Heads bypasses would see one of the last major bottlenecks on the Pacific Highway removed.
The new section of the Pacific Highway is part of a $830 million upgrade which includes a four lane divided road, 15 bridges, new interchanges at Warrell Creek and Bald Hill Road, and access ramps at North Macksville.
NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, said, “As a result of the upgrade drivers will enjoy faster travel, with those travelling the length of the Pacific Highway now getting to their destination two hours faster than before upgrades began. Those time savings will increase once the rest of the upgrades are complete in 2020.”
NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight and Member for Oxley, Melinda Pavey, said the upgraded road would improve local streets in Macksville and Nambucca Heads, with fewer heavy vehicles to travel through the town centres.
“Investing and delivering an upgraded Pacific Highway between Warrell Creek and Nambucca Heads will help to further drive the accident rate down. Annual fatalities on the highway have already fallen from the mid-40s to the mid-20s since the start of the upgrade,” Mrs Pavey said.
The Australian Government and New South Wales Governments are jointly funding the $830 million section.
Approximately 80 per cent of the 657km Pacific Highway upgrade is now complete between Hexham, north of Newcastle, and the Queensland border.
Attention will now turn to the 155km Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade, which is expected to be complete in 2020.