Macksville's Pacific Highway bypass opens to community
THE Macksville community will celebrate the imminent opening of the new Macksville Bridge with locals walking across the new crossing today ahead of its opening to traffic on Monday.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester welcomed the opening of the new bridge before Christmas and the progressive opening of the upgrade south of Bald Hill next year.
"The $830 million Warrell Creek to Nambucca Heads section of the Pacific Highway upgrade includes 15 bridges, new interchanges at Warrell Creek and Bald Hill Road and access ramps at North Macksville," Mr Chester said.
"This new bridge will clear one of the biggest bottle necks on the Pacific Highway, which means drivers won't be stuck waiting to get across the river and can get where they need to go sooner. Investing in a better, safer highway will change lives and it will save lives."
NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight and Member for Oxley Melinda Pavey said the new bridge would offer motorists a safer and more reliable journey on the Pacific Highway, with fewer heavy vehicles travelling through the Macksville CBD.
"By taking heavy vehicles off the main street and putting them onto the highway, the town will be handed back to the community. It will also pay dividends for local freight operators looking to get goods to market quickly," Mrs Pavey said.
Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker said the community walk across the bridge was a great experience for locals eagerly awaiting the new crossing.
"It's great to be here and walk across the new bridge. Locals are well and truly aware of how hard it can be to access the highway from the CBD, and with holiday traffic looming, this completion could not come at a better time," Mr Hartsuyker said.
Construction on the Warrell Creek to Nambucca Heads section started in July, 2014 and will progressively open over the coming weeks. The Australian Government and New South Wales governments have jointly funded the $830 million project.
• Community enjoys chance to walk across new Macksville Bridge today ahead of official opening next week
• New bridge will address major congestion issues for locals in Macksville, Bowraville and beyond
• Part of $830 million Pacific Highway - Warrell Creek to Nambucca Heads upgrade
EARLIER: Within 10 days you will be able to walk across the new bridge crossing the Nambucca River as work on the Macksville bypass nears finishing.
Roads and Maritime Services expect the Warrell Creek to Nambucca Heads project to be finished in the week before Christmas.
On Saturday, December 16, the community is invited to walk on the new bridge.
Weeks away from the proposed opening date of the 19.5km dual carriageway upgrade, the RMS and Pacifico have been busy adding the final touches to the bypass.
"Roads and Maritime Services and Pacifico are working together to complete as much finishing work as possible before the bypass opens to traffic including completing landscaping, line marking, kerbing and concreting as well as laying the final asphalt surface on the new bridge across the Nambucca River," an RMS spokesperson said.
"Work is being carried out six days a week, with some crews working on Sundays to prepare the road for opening to traffic."
Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the entire Pacific Highway duplication is expected to finished by 2020.
According to the RMS, the 155km Woolgoolga to Ballina project is the last section of the highway to be upgraded to two lanes in each direction between Hexham and the Queensland border.
Mr Chester said the Glenugie to Maclean section of the upgrade is expected to start this month after the Arrawarra - Halfway Creek and Halfway Creek - Glenugie sections were recently finished.
Beyond the duplication, Mr Chester said he was waiting on Coffs Harbour bypass information from the NSW Government.
"The NSW Government is currently progressing planning for the bypass, and any business case for this project would need to be assessed by Infrastructure Australia prior to any Federal Government funding commitment," Mr Chester said.
The 2016-17 NSW Budget allocated $5 million to continue planning the Pacific Highway bypass of Coffs Harbour.