* Two bypasses on the Pacific Highway open to traffic, bringing to completion 14 kilometres of the Warrell Creek to Nambucca Heads section
* The bypasses, one at Macksville and one at Nambucca Heads, form part of the overall 20-kilometre section being upgraded
* $830 million project funded by the Australian and New South Wales governments
The first 14 kilometres of the 20-kilometre Warrell Creek to Nambucca Heads section of the Pacific Highway upgrade has opened to traffic in time for the festive season, with two key bypasses complete.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the opening of the Macksville and Nambucca Heads bypasses would see one of the last major bottlenecks on the Pacific Highway removed.
“Today’s opening could not be more timely, with Christmas fast approaching and Macksville being a notorious bottleneck during this time of year. Families on their Christmas holidays will no longer be stuck in traffic for hours in the middle of Macksville, giving them time to enjoy their break,” Mr Chester said.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian today joined Roads Minister and Member for Oxley Melinda Pavey and Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker to officially open the new 20 kilometre Warrell Creek to Nambucca Heads section of the Pacific Highway.
“This new section of the Pacific Highway is part of an $830 million upgrade which includes a four lane divided road, 15 bridges, new interchanges at Warrell Creek and Bald Hill Road and access ramps at North Macksville,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“As a result of the upgrade drivers will enjoy faster travel, with those travelling the length of the Pacific Highway now getting to their destination two hours faster than before upgrades began. Those time savings will increase once the rest of the upgrades are complete in 2020.”
Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker said the 20 kilometres of road which will progressively open from today will make a huge difference to the community.
“The Warrell Creek to Nambucca Heads section is a key part of the substantial Pacific Highway works taking place between Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour. The value of the five projects along that stretch totals almost $3.3 billion – dollars which have been invested in building a safer, more efficient highway for all drivers,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight and Member for Oxley Melinda Pavey said the upgraded road opened today would improve local streets in Macksville and Nambucca Heads, with fewer heavy vehicles to travel through the town centres.
“Investing and delivering an upgraded Pacific Highway between Warrell Creek and Nambucca Heads will help to further drive the accident rate down. Annual fatalities on the highway have already fallen from the mid-40s to the mid-20s since the start of the upgrade,” Mrs Pavey said.
The Australian Government and New South Wales governments are jointly funding the $830 million section.
Approximately 80 per cent of the 657-kilometre Pacific Highway upgrade is now complete between Hexham, north of Newcastle, and the Queensland border. Attention will now turn to the 155 kilometre Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade, which is expected to be complete in 2020.