Highway upgrade reaches new milestones
THERE will be many bridges to cross, 166 in total, and for the Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade, a few more were ticked off the list yesterday.
Member for Page Kevin Hogan, alongside Federal Roads Minister Melinda Pavey stood in front of the works on the biggest bridge of them all, the $200 million Clarence River crossing at Harwood to announce the contracts to be awarded to build 23 new bridges in the upgrade, including the new Mororo bridge.
And with the highway upgrade nearly 70% complete, Mr Hogan did not mince his words about the importance of the project.
"The Pacific Highway is the north coast's Snowy Hydro scheme in the sense of what an infrastructure project it is. There are 4000 jobs being created as part of the build and other indirect jobs being created," he said.
"We're going to reduce the fatalities on the highway.
"Fatalities are already being reduced where the dual duplication has hap- pened, and there's multi- decade lows of loss of life."
The scale of the project was not lost on the roads minister either.
"There are 14 million cubic metres of soil to be moved to do this 155 kilometres," she said. "And we are at the halfway point ... so it's an amazing project."
Meanwhile the first piles are already in the ground for the new Harwood Bridge, and all 117 foundations are expected to be completed by the end of 2017. There are more than 4000 pilings used for the entire project.
Installing foundations for bridges between Glenugie and Maclean and between Devils Pulpit and Richmond River is also under way, with piling expected to start between Maclean and Devils Pulpit next month.
Minister Pavey announced that the Bielby Hull Albem joint venture was announced as the tender winner to build 23 new bridges between Trustrums Hill at Woodburn and Richmond River at Broadwater, and the new Mororo Bridge.
"Contracts for the remaining bridges and five main civil work contracts for the highway between Glenugie and Pimlico are expected to be awarded before the end of 2017," she said.