Planning in hands of engineers

ENGINEERS have been appointed by the Roads and Traffic Authority to discuss the early groundwork on the Pacific Highway upgrade between Woolgoolga and Ballina.

To date the State Government has allocated $10- million for planning of the long-awaited upgrade.

An alliance of two major engineering firms, Sinclair Knight Merz and Aurecon, are developing concept plans, designs and an environmental assessment for the upgrade.

“This planning activity will allow the NSW Government to begin building these roads as soon as funding becomes available,” NSW Roads Minister David Borger said.

“The upgrade will improve road safety, reduce travel times and improve access for local traffic.

“Through the RTA the NSW Government has consulted extensively with the community since 2004 to identify the preferred route and concept designs for the Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade.

Environmental and engineering investigations are taking into consideration ecological issues, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal heritage, noise, water quality, flooding and traffic.

“Further community comment will be sought when the environmental assessment for the concept plan is put on display.

Mr Borger said the RTA is also seeking project approval for early work at 15 sites identified in need of urgent safety upgrades.

“A separate environmental assessment for this early work will be prepared and will go on display for public comment later this year,” he said.



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