• The final six kilometres of the Warrell Creek to Nambucca Heads section of the Pacific Highway is now open to traffic
• The $830 million project included the construction of 20 kilometres of four-lane divided road
• The opening marks the completion of the $3.3 billion Pacific Highway upgrade between Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour
The final six kilometres of the Pacific Highway upgrade between Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour is now open to traffic, further improving road safety and reducing freight transport costs on the primary road corridor between New South Wales and Queensland.
Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister Keith Pitt said the full upgrade would reduce travel times by around two and a half hours for motorists driving the length of the Pacific Highway.
“The Pacific Highway upgrade continues to deliver a more efficient, safer journey for Australians. Fatalities have halved since the upgrade began in 1996 and are expected to further decrease as more sections open,” Mr Pitt said.
NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey said the Australian and NSW governments provided $3.3 billion to upgrade the last 105 kilometres of highway between Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour.
“Today’s opening means that 81 per cent of the 657-kilometre Pacific Highway upgrade between Hexham and the Queensland border is now complete. A wonderful example of what can be achieved when the Australian and NSW governments work together,” Mrs Pavey said.
Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker said the opening of the Warrell Creek section was nationally significant in terms of the overall and massive upgrade of the Highway.
“It means there is now a user friendly divided highway almost all the way from Grafton to Sydney. With the Melbourne to Grafton upgrade also completed that’s a big boost to transport productivity and safety on our Eastern seaboard’s main route.”
“The upgrade was a major achievement for the region with the completed four-lane divided road set to support farmers and freight operators on the mid north coast for generations to come.
“I would also like to acknowledge the thousands of workers who worked on the various projects between Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour over the years, many of whom were locals, for contributing to this important infrastructure project,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
Finishing works, including the installation of low-noise wearing surface and the removal of temporary crossovers, will occur after the highway opens to traffic.
Works on the final part of the Pacific Highway upgrade, from Woolgoolga to Ballina, are underway, with the final section of the upgrade expected to open in 2020.
The Australian and New South Wales governments jointly funded the $830 million Pacific Highway Warrell Creek to Nambucca Heads upgrade.
More information on the Pacific Highway upgrade is available on the Roads and Maritime Services website at www.rms.nsw.gov.au.