Northern roadworks to start soon

LEIGHTON Contractors and Fulton Hogan were yesterday announced as the contractors who will partner the RTA to build the Sapphire-Woolgoolga section of the Pacific Highway bypass.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Anthony Albanese, who made the announcement at Coffs Harbour yesterday, re-stated that work would begin on this section of the highway in the second half of this year.

Pre-construction work is already under way.

Mr Albanese also said major construction activities on the $60 million Glenugie upgrade began yesterday.

“The project will duplicate and straighten the highway between Franklins Road and Eight Mile Lane, with work expected to be completed in late 2011,” Mr Albanese said.

The announcement was made in conjunction with NSW Minister David Borger, who said the Sapphire to Woolgoolga upgrade would significantly improve safety and cut travel times along this section of Highway as well as provide better access to the northern beaches and Woolgoolga.

Among those in the audience for Mr Albanese’s announcement was Sapphire resident Alice Brown, a member of the Angry Grannies group which has spent years lobbying for a far western bypass.

Now a great-grandmother, Mrs Brown said Mr Albanese had ‘slapped a no-fly curfew on Mascot airport in his own electorate’ but Northern Beaches residents suffered disturbed sleep every night as B-double trucks thundered past.

“(Road) transport is a toxic and noisy industry,” Mrs Brown said. “No other industry is allowed to carry on like that.”

The $698 million project will involve the design and construction of:

Twenty-five kilometres of dual lane divided carriageways;

Thirty bridges or bridge sized structures, including new and replacement bridges over existing creeks and for the underpasses/overpasses associated with the new interchanges;

A local road network to allow local traffic, including school buses, to travel through the area without using the upgraded highway;

Five new interchanges at:

Gaudrons Road/Spilt Solitary Road, Sapphire; Moonee Beach Road/Hoys Road, Moonee Beach; Fiddaman Road/Graham Drive South, Emerald; Graham Drive North/Hearnes Lake Road, south Woolgoolga; and Arrawarra Beach Road, Arrawarra.

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