The Kempsey bypass moving ahead

THE Pacific Highway bypass of Kempsey has officially begun.

Senator Mark Arbib said after more than 12 months of detailed planning, geotechnical investigations and site preparations, it was now full steam ahead.

“The Gillard Labor Government is investing $618 million to lay 14.5-kilometres of new highway to the east of Kempsey,” Senator Arbib said.

“Once completed in mid-2014, the new bypass will take up to 2000 trucks a day off the local streets of Kempsey as well as deliver safer driving conditions and shorter travel times for all the motorists that use this section of the nation’s busiest road.

“The construction of the Kempsey bypass is just part of the $3.1 billion capital works program we’re rolling out up and down the Pacific Highway, with more than 1000 workers already onsite building almost 100 kilometres of new road.

“In fact the full duplication of this road is the largest nation building road project currently under way anywhere in the country.”

NSW Roads Minister David Borger said the project would “directly employ around 450 people and indirectly support more than 1400 families”.

“The second half of the project – the design and construction of the bridges over the Macleay River and the nearby floodplain – will be delivered under a design and construct contract,” he said.

The successful builder or consortium is due to be selected by the end of this year.

“We expect work on the bridges to start around the middle of 2011,” Mr Borger said.

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