· Community enjoys chance to walk across new Macksville Bridge ahead of official opening in time for Christmas
· 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
The Macksville community has celebrated the imminent opening of the new Macksville Bridge with locals walking across the new crossing 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.