Devil upgrade

ANOTHER slab of the Pacific Highway is about to be upgraded.

The State Government has granted conditional planning approval for a $105 million upgrade to build 6.4km of dual lane carriageway at Devils Pulpit, 70km north of Grafton.

Minister for Planning Tony Kelly said the upgrade would greatly improve a substandard section of the highway, resulting in increased safety and reduced travel times.

“At present, this section of the highway has a fatality rate which is more than double our state plan road safety target and a large amount of heavy truck traffic,” Mr Kelly said.

Roads Minister David Borger said the RTA was inviting tenders to complete the Devils Pulpit upgrade.

“The Devils Pulpit upgrade involves upgrading the existing road from two lanes to a four-lane divided road, widening three kilometres of highway, and installing wire rope barriers

north of the four-lane divided road,” he said.

“Our work on the Pacific Highway is delivering results; 332 kilometres of the Pacific Highway between Hexham and the Queensland border is now dual carriageway, with a further 69 kilometres of dual carriageway currently under construction.”

Mr Kelly said to deal with the loss of native vegetation, the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) had agreed to permanently protect some 152 hectares of compensatory vegetation.

“This means that for every one hectare of native vegetation to be cleared by this project, about another 2.5 hectares will be permanently protected elsewhere,” Mr Kelly said. The department has imposed some 53 conditions of approval on the project.

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