TWO of Australia’s major road construction companies will join forces to build the $705 million Sapphire to Woolgoolga Pacific Highway upgrade.
The partnership of Leighton Contractors and Fulton Hogan Pty Ltd has won the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority construction tender for the 25-kilometre project.
Work is already well under way to improve drainage for the new stretch of dual carriageway, while construction of the roadway is set to follow in coming months.
Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said the project will create more than 500 direct jobs and support three times as many indirect jobs in the local economy.
“The entire project is expected to be open to traffic in 2013,” Mr Albanese said.
RTA artist impressions show the dual carriage will be built between Coffs Harbour and Arrawarra, with a bypass west of Woolgoolga.
Local residents will be able to use an upgraded localised road which will also be an alternative route for school buses.
Thirty new or replaced bridges and creek crossings will also be built, along with interchanges at Sapphire, Moonee, Emerald and Sandy beaches, and a further highway exit and rest stop at Arrawarra. The highway exits will be built at Gaudrons Road/Split Solitary Road, Moonee Beach Road/Hoys Road, Fiddaman Road/Graham Drive South, Graham Drive North, Woolgoolga and Arrawarra Beach Road.
A rival joint tender from construction companies Thiess and Abigroup was unsuccessful.