Full speed for single lane opening

New bridge over the Nambucca River at Macksville. Photo: JESS WALLACE

New bridge over the Nambucca River at Macksville. Photo: JESS WALLACE

It all depends on the weather.

That is the caveat both the Member for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker, and the Member for Oxley, Melinda Pavey, are putting to their comments about the highway upgrade timeline, which they say is full steam ahead to get the Macksville bypass open for Christmas.

When asked about recent comments by the Labor Party that an “administrative bungle between the two levels of government” had affected cash flow and slowed the project down, Mr Hartsuyker said the project spoke for itself and anyone could see “that work was continuing at a great pace”.

“You just have to go and have a look – I understand bitumen work continues as late as possible daily,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

“The Macksville bypass is a critical priority and I understand it is on target for a Christmas completion. These claims by the Labor Party are just noise.”

He did however confirm the Warrell Creek end of the upgrade would not open before Christmas.

Mrs Pavey said she was not aware of any administrative glitches.

“As far as I know the funding is all there and the crews are working six days a week with the goal of getting it done before the holidays,” she said.

“It won’t be possible to have it all open but the aim is to have one lane each way open so that Macksville can be bypassed.

“It will however be single lanes for the first few weeks so crews have a safe place to work as they finish off barrier work and the like.”

The Warrell Creek end of the upgrade. Photo: JESS WALLACE

The Warrell Creek end of the upgrade. Photo: JESS WALLACE

She said the recent rain had caused delays at what was a crucial time in the construction phase with the laying of asphalt.

The upgrade between Warrell Creek and Nambucca Heads has a price tag of $830 million. The original completion date was for this end of the year.

Tracking the progress:

See photos of the Macksville Bridge and the highway taking shape.

And the making of those amazing girders at the Macksville batching plant.