'Jobs bonanza' announced for hwy upgrade bridge work
THE Mid North Coast and Northern Rivers regions are set to benefit from a jobs boom as contracts have been awarded to begin work on more than 100 bridges between Woolgoolga and Ballina.
Around 1,700 workers are already employed on the Woolgoolga to Ballina section of the Pacific Highway upgrade, and more jobs are expected to come as work ramps up on the bridges.
Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan said manufacturing of the bridge components will start almost immediately, ensuring ongoing employment for workers at existing facilities in Macksville and Coffs Harbour.
"A significant proportion of contracts for works on the Pacific Highway are being awarded to north coast businesses, providing sub-contracting and supply opportunities for locals and flow through benefits to the local accommodation and hospitality industry,” Mr Hogan said.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said up to 4,000 workers are expected to be directly employed across the Pacific Highway when work ramps up later in 2017.
"This is Australia's largest regional infrastructure project, delivering thousands of jobs and real economic benefits for businesses throughout the local area, the wider region and the entire state,” Mr Chester said.
"As well as injecting millions into local economies throughout New South Wales, the duplication of the Pacific Highway has also contributed to a halving of fatalities on the highway since the upgrade began.”
Melinda Pavey, NSW Minister for Roads, said today's tender awards related to precast concrete bridge components, meaning most bridges will be able to be built five to 15 per cent faster.
"This more efficient construction method will ensure the upgrades remain on track to open to traffic by 2020,” Mrs Pavey said.
Lendlease Engineering will supply more than 2,700 headstocks, planks and abutments to the project. CPB Contractors will provide about 800 Super T girders, and Boral Resources will provide about 60,000 cubic metres of concrete to the project.