News

Final stage of Pacific Hwy upgrade approved

The NSW Government has announced planning approval for the final section of the Pacific Hwy to be duplicated between Woolgoolga and Ballina.
The NSW Government has announced planning approval for the final section of the Pacific Hwy to be duplicated between Woolgoolga and Ballina. Trevor Veale

THE Pacific Hwy upgrade has reached a major milestone with the NSW Government announcing planning approval has been given for the final section of the highway to be duplicated.

Acting NSW Premier Andrew Stoner, Minister for Planning Pru Goward and Roads Minister Duncan Gay announced that NSW planning approval had been given for the Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Hwy upgrade.

This approval will allow the next stages of early work to start while the Australian Government Department of the Environment considers the overall project.

Mr Stoner said this was the last link of highway to be upgraded to dual carriageway between Hexham and the Queensland border, comprising the duplication of 155 kilometres of road between Woolgoolga and Ballina on the NSW North Coast.

"The NSW Government is working with the Australian Government and getting on with the job of delivering the Pacific Hwy upgrade," Mr Stoner said.

"This is one of Australia's busiest roads, carrying up to 12,000 vehicles per day in this section alone, and is the final link in the provision of the modern, upgraded road linking Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane following completion of the Hume Hwy last year.

"Since the Pacific Hwy upgrade program started, fatalities on the highway have more than halved - from 42 in 1996 to 20 in 2013, but there is still more work to do.

"The new alignment will take trucks out of town centres and villages like South Grafton, Ulmarra, Woodburn, Broadwater and Wardell and put them safely on to a dual carriageway.

"The Australian and NSW Governments have committed to completing the upgrade of the Pacific Highway to a dual carriageway by the end of this decade."

The Woolgoolga to Ballina upgrade will be delivered under an innovative model used in the London Olympics, tailored to meet the specific needs of this major project.

Under this new model, a major provider with design, construction and management expertise will be engaged to oversee the project in collaboration with Roads and Maritime's Pacific Hwy Office, managing multiple contracts for professional services, supply, and building of the actual work.

The delivery partner will be expected to provide economies of scale and improved efficiencies over the 155km of highway upgrade.

Ms Goward said an extended consultation period had been held during the exhibition of the environmental impact statement to ensure that the communities had an opportunity to comment on the route and concept design of the upgraded highway.

"The route has been selected with care and a great deal of consultation to maximise the economic benefits and safety improvements and minimise impacts," Ms Goward said.

"I have ensured that effective measures are in place to address community concerns about the environmental and social impacts of the highway upgrade."

The new dual carriageway will feature:

  • More than 200 crossings for threatened fauna, including Koalas and Coastal Emus, including widened median crossings and land bridges over the highway
  • 10 grade-separated interchanges to separate local and through traffic
  • 40 bridges over waterways and floodplains, including major crossings of the Clarence and Richmond Rivers
  • Five driver rest areas with toilets and picnic amenities.
  • 55 underpasses and overpasses for local road and property access across the new highway.

The project begins about six kilometres north of Woolgoolga and ends about six kilometres south of Ballina.

Mr Gay said tenders for the first 26km section between Woolgoolga and Glenugie and soft soil stabilisation work will be called in coming weeks, utility relocation and other early work is due to start in August and major building on the overall upgrade is expected to start early next year.

Topics:  andrew stoner, duncan gay, nsw government, pacific highway, pru goward, rms, roads and maritime services, woolgoolga to ballina upgrade



Will backpacker tax lead to dodgy hiring practices?

184338 Big strawberries  are being picked and packed at Koogie Downs, Chevallum this year. Pickers make their way along the rows of berries.Photo by Nicholas Falconer

Is the backpacker tax likely to pressure farmers?

Drive away from Mother Nature's in a new car

IN IT TO WIN IT: Mother Nature's Rob Foster wants someone to win a car in today's lucky shopper key draw.

Mother Nature's has a big reward for its customers

Jetty stages to be the jewel in Rally Australia crown

MIXING IT UP: The 2016 Kennards Hire Rally Australia will involve stunning forest road stages as well as Super Special Stages along Jordan Esplanade to Gallows Beach and back.

Features of Jetty Harbour stages of Rally Australia revealed

Latest deals and offers

TELEVISION: New show is a Survivor, for now

Jonathan LaPaglia hosts the TV series Australian Survivor.

WHAT happens when a new show with a big budget flops?

Rachel Weisz understands celebrity gossip fascination

Actor Rachel Weisz

Weisz says mystery is good for an actor

Gina Rodriguez relished dramatic change for new film

Jane the Virgin lead Gina Rodriguez

TV star shaved her hair for movie role

Branson "amazed" he's still alive after cycling crash

Branson saw "his life flash before my eyes" during a bike crash

John Krasinski has better sex now he's in good shape

John Krasinski says there's at least one good reason to get jacked

Kanye West gets 'free reign' at VMAs

Kanye West has been let off the leash for the VMAs

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m