Wet weather has endangered the proposed completion date of the Sapphire to Woolgoolga upgrade of the Pacific Highway.
Wet weather has endangered the proposed completion date of the Sapphire to Woolgoolga upgrade of the Pacific Highway. Trevor Veale

Weather, financial problems

THE Sapphire to Woolgoolga Pacific Highway upgrade appears to be progressing quickly, but in reality unusually wet weather has endangered the proposed completion date.

Since work began in August 2010, rain has caused eight months of setbacks for the joint venture of Leighton and Fulton, casting doubt over the road being built by early 2014.

Seeking to make up for weather delays, the 344 workers are working outside of hours and at weekends.

Bad weather and poor planning on the $705 million project have also reportedly caused "financial trouble" for the consortium.

New Zealand media reports indicate Fulton Hogan, a privately-owned Christchurch-based company, has revoked a share buy-back plan to shareholders.

"Fixing some difficult trading and project issues in Australia and considering a potential acquisition opportunity, prudence dictates we take this step," chairman Ed Johnson told shareholders.

Questioned about the claims, the company declined to comment.

Roads and Maritime Services said provision for rain was factored into the planning.



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