Motorists are now enjoying a smoother and safer journey on the Pacific Highway, with 14-kilometres of new four-lane divided road now fully open to traffic from Kundabung to Kempsey.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the upgraded highway would change lives and save lives.
“Around 75 per cent, or almost 500 kilometres, of the entire Pacific Highway upgrade is now complete between Hexham and the Queensland border. Since works started on the Pacific Highway, the number of fatal crashes have halved, reducing to about 20 crashes annually in recent years,” Mr Chester said.
“That’s the sort of result we want to see through our investment in the Pacific Highway – a safer road for drivers and a more efficient route for freight and businesses.”
NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight and Member for Oxley Melinda Pavey said opening this stretch of road was a great boost for locals, with many people travelling between Kempsey and Port Macquarie on a daily basis.
“Although the final four kilometres will not be open until February, travel from Sydney to Warrell Creek is now all dual carriageway,” Mrs Pavey said.
Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker said it was the third of five projects between Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour to open since May last year.
“The remaining two projects include the Oxley Highway to Kundabung upgrade, which is expected to open to traffic in coming weeks, weather permitting, and the Warrell Creek to Nambucca Heads project which is expected to open in coming months,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
A safety audit by Roads and Maritime Services has recommended another section of safety fencing be installed on a small section of the southern carriageway near Maria River. This is expected to be complete in three weeks, weather permitting.
For more information on the Pacific Highway upgrade, visit the Roads and Maritime Services website at http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/projects/pacific-highway/index.html.