The opening of a 34-kilometre section of new dual carriage motorway is one of the last major components of the Pacific Highway upgrade.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack says this will be the largest section of motorway to open to traffic before the duplication of the Pacific Highway between Hexham and the Queensland border is completed later this year.
The 34-kilometre stretch will allow traffic to bypass the northern New South Wales towns of Woodburn, Broadwater and Wardell.
“This is yet another critical piece of the Woolgoolga to Ballina project and with this complete, 131 of the planned 155 kilometres of dual carriageway will be open to traffic,” McCormack adds.
“This section is critical as it will alleviate what was a persistent traffic bottleneck around Woodburn during the peak holiday season.”
According to New South Wales Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole, the opening of this section will improve journeys along the north coast of NSW. “The Pacific Highway upgrade has been a major investment in our regional communities, creating more than 3000 jobs during the peak of the Woolgoolga to Ballina project alone, injecting millions into local economies and giving local communities the highway they deserve,” he says.
“We are now so close to the end of this multi-generational project and the benefits are clear – faster, safer journeys and improved connections for local communities.”
State Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis said the opening of this section would significantly reduce travel times for motorists and give local streets back to communities by reducing the number of heavy vehicles travelling through each town.
“Interchanges at Woodburn and Broadwater will offer safe access to and across the new motorway while the Coolgardie interchange will open in stages, with temporary access arrangements in place initially,” Gulaptis says.
Members of the community will also be able to have their say on the naming of the new bridge over the Richmond River at Broadwater and major crossings at Harwood and Shark Creek.
Electronic message signs will provide wayfinding information. Traffic management and reduced speed limits will apply through the area while upgrade works continue.