The recent addition of a 12km section of road has put the Pacific Highway duplication between Woolgoolga to Ballina, in the home stretch.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said vital infrastructure projects like this one would go ahead despite the COVID-19 pandemic because of their long-term value to regional communities.

“We’re powering ahead with vital infrastructure projects like this because we understand just how important investments are to regional economies in this difficult time,” Mr McCormack said.

“Contractors will be complying with all relevant health advice to ensure their safety.

“This is just one of the many ways the Federal and New South Wales governments are delivering for the regions and building for the future.”

NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Paul Toole, said the new section of four-lane divided highway meant motorists would drive along more than 75km of completed highway delivered through this project.

“The Pacific Highway duplication from Hexham to the Queensland border is the largest road infrastructure project in regional Australia and is transforming journeys along the North Coast,” Mr Toole said.

“We’re already seeing travel time reductions of around two hours, and fatal crashes on this stretch of highway have halved since the project started.

“This is about keeping vital infrastructure work moving forward – infrastructure that keeps people employed and regional economies ticking and supports safer, faster journeys for freight operators at a time when it’s critical to keep essential goods flowing.”

NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Roads and Infrastructure and Member for Clarence, Chris Gulaptis, said it was great to see the project enter the home stretch.

“We know how important projects like these are to local communities – and to tourists and freight operators who use the Pacific Highway to travel between Brisbane and Sydney,” Mr Gulaptis said.

Federal Member for Page, Kevin Hogan, said once the Woolgoolga to Ballina project was complete, local motorists could save 25 minutes between the two regions.

“This project will improve travel reliability and better access for communities along the route, meaning better, safer connections for all road users,” Mr Hogan said.

“The duplication of the highway is on track for completion at the end of 2020.”

The Australian and NSW governments are jointly funding the $4.95 billion Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade on an 80:20 basis.

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