- Contract awarded to build 23 bridges along Woolgoolga to Ballina section
- Piling works underway for the new Clarence River Bridge at Harwood—one of 166 new bridges being delivered between Woolgoolga to Ballina
- Project will support at least 2,500 direct and 7,500 indirect jobs during construction and remains on track for completion by 2020.
An important bridge building contract has been awarded for the Australian and New South Wales government-funded Woolgoolga to Ballina section of the Pacific Highway upgrade.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the Bielby Hull Albem joint venture had been awarded the contract to build bridges between Trustrums Hill and Richmond River, and the new Mororo Bridge.
“The constant flow of contract and construction milestones show the Pacific Highway upgrade is well and truly on track, with motorists travelling the length of the Pacific Highway already saving about an hour and 45 minutes in travel time,” Mr Chester said.
“More than 70 per cent of work on the Pacific Highway upgrade and we have already see the road toll halved.
“When completed, motorists can expect to save up to two and a half hours driving between Sydney and Brisbane on a safer, more efficient highway with improved travel reliability through better flood immunity, fewer incidents and more readily available alternative routes.”
New South Wales Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey touring the area today said 166 bridges, including 57 twin bridges, would be built as part of the 155-kilometre project, including major bridges crossing the Clarence and Richmond rivers.
“Early work, including survey and geotechnical investigations for the bridge across the Richmond River at Broadwater, is nearly complete, with piling for this bridge expected to start in September, weather permitting,” Mrs Pavey said.
“Contracts for the remaining bridges and five main civil work contracts for the highway between Glenugie and Pimlico are expected to be awarded before the end of 2017.”
Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan said the Australian and New South Wales governments were getting on with the job of building the 155-kilometre upgrade, putting it well on track to open to traffic by 2020.
“The fantastic progress being made on the Woolgoolga to Ballina section is also great news for the local economy because it means about 2,500 direct jobs across the project as work progresses,” Mr Hogan said.
“The economic boost the upgrade is having on the region is already clear, with the latest statistics from the Clarence Valley Council’s Economic Monitor indicating the lowest level of unemployment in the region in more than five years and growth in the local economy outstripping the state average.”
New South Wales Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis said the award of the latest contracts brought the highway another step closer to two lanes in each direction all the way from Hexham, near Newcastle, to the Queensland border.
“Piling has started for the bridge across the Clarence River at Harwood and all 117 foundations for the bridge are expected to be completed by the end of 2017,” Mr Gulaptis said.
“Installing foundations for bridges between Glenugie and Maclean and between Devils Pulpit and Richmond River is also underway, with piling expected to start between Maclean and Devils Pulpit next month.”
The community can now view an animation of the new Clarence River Bridge at Harwood at www.rms.nsw.gov.au/w2b. The Australian and New South Wales governments are jointly funding the Woolgoolga to Ballina upgrade on an 80:20 basis.
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