RMS sticks to original Hwy route
THE Warrell Creek to Urunga Pacific Highway upgrade has overcome another major hurdle but it is unlikely to please many local landholders.
Last year locals suggested an alternative route other than the one approved by Roads and Maritime Services (RMS).
RMS conducted a technical review into an alternative route for an eight kilometre section of the upgrade but found the original route is better for a lot of reasons.
An RMS spokesperson said the review considered functionality, environmental, social and economic criteria and found the approved alignment offers overall greater performance than the proposed alternative.
It also happens to be a lot cheaper.
"The alternative alignment would also cost about $103 million more," the spokesperson said.
"This is good news as it means we can get on with the job and progress the upgrade on a stretch of the highway the community wants to see as four-lane divided highway."
The spokesperson added the independent review was on the stretch between Wedgewood Drive south of Macksville and the Nambucca State Forest west of Nambucca Heads, including the crossing of the Nambucca River.
"The technical review compared the approved and alternative routes to determine if the alternative warranted further investigation," the spokeperson said.
"The review was carried out by an independent team of experts and specialists. The team included experts in social impact assessment, flooding and drainage impact assessment, environmental impact assessment, geotechnical investigations, cost estimation, economic analysis and road and bridge design."
The project team will now continue with pre-building activities on the eight kilometre section including geotechnical and environmental investigations and property acquisitions.
The technical review submissions report is now available to view on the project website www.rms.nsw.gov.au/pacific