Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese, with RTA Pacific Highway Manager Bob Higgins and Coffs Harbour mayor Keith Rhoades.
Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese, with RTA Pacific Highway Manager Bob Higgins and Coffs Harbour mayor Keith Rhoades. Bruce Thomas

Cycleway plans 'still on track'

CAMPAIGNERS pushing for a cycleway to be built alongside the Sapphire to Woolgoolga Pacific Highway upgrade will get another opportunity to press their case this weekend.

During a visit by Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese yesterday, it was revealed the Coffs Harbour City Council is discussing the cycleway with project managers.

“On the issue of a cycleway, there is ongoing dialogue between the council and the Roads and Traffic Authority,” Coffs Harbour mayor Keith Rhoades said.

On Saturday the RTA will stage information sessions at the Woolgoolga Hall between 9.30am and 11am and the Moonee Beach Hall between 1.30pm and 3pm.

Five months since he turned the first sod on the 25km highway upgrade, Mr Albanese was back on site yesterday promising the project would be completed in two years’ time.

“This highway upgrade is important for productivity but most importantly it will make a difference to road safety,” Mr Albanese said.

“The spin-off of jobs, as a result of the work, is having an economic impact on the community.

“The highway duplication will be completed in the latter half of 2013, weather permitting.”

Construction partners Leighton and Fulton Hogan have already finished clearing works to the east of the existing highway and have cleared about 70 per cent of the land west of the existing route.

Over the next three months, Mr Albanese said those corridors would be completely cleared for the new highway lanes.

Drilling of the foundations for the new bridges passing over seven major creeks will also start.

Then controlled blasting will commence on the Woolgoolga bypass near Unwins Road and north of Bark Hut Road.

The duplication is jointly funded, with the Federal Government contributing $610 million and the State Government a further $95 million.



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