Urunga bypass a step closer

Following negotiations between the Australian and NSW Governments a bypass
of Urunga is a step closer, with construction companies interested in designing and upgrading the Nambucca Heads to Urunga sectionof the Pacific Highway having until 23 February toregister their details with the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS).

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said this 22 kilometre section is part of the larger 42 kilometre Warrell Creek to Urunga project and is another important step in upgrading the Pacific Highway between Port Macquarie and Raleigh, north of Urunga.

"Once completed in 2016, the Nambucca Heads to Urunga upgrade will deliver safer, smoother driving conditions for the 15,000 motorists and truck drivers who use this section of the Pacific Highway each and every day," said Mr Albanese.

The upgrade of the Nambucca Heads to Urunga section had been agreed between Ministers Albanese and Gay before they became aware of a news story on the issue which aired last week.

A shortlist of applicants will be chosen in May and invited to submit tenders.  In the meantime RMS will continue with land acquisitions and investigations to prepare this section for the start of major construction in early-2013.

NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay said he was pleased the Federal and NSW governments had agreed to develop an intergovernmental agreement.

"The agreement will define the priority, timing and funding for all the remaining sections yet to be upgraded and duplicated.  This agreement will deliver the certainty that the community and interest groups have long demanded," said Mr Gay.

"We are determined to do all we can in partnership with the Commonwealth to complete the full duplication of the Pacific Highway by 2016."

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