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$18.5 million highway development program



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Work on four major projects to improve the standard of the Pacific Highway north of Kempsey will get under way this month, the Federal Land Transport Minister, Bob Brown, said today.

Mr Brown said the Federal Government would meet the entire $18.5 million cost of the improvements, which are part of the $300 million joint Pacific Highway upgrading program.

The combined projects involve reconstruction of 12.5 km of the Pacific Highway, including 5km of divided four-lane highway at Allgomera Creek, 38.3 km to 43 km north of Kempsey.

'Tenders for new bridges and improved road alignment at Christmas and Easter Creeks will be called this month1, Mr Brown said.

'The Eungai Creek Deviation and dual carriageways at Allgomera Creek will start soon after tenders are called in June.

'An environmental impact study is being undertaken before work can begin on the Watt Creek to Teague Creek project, about 60 km north of Kempsey'.

Meanwhile, Mr Brown said work was well-advanced on the construction of an extra lane on the northern approaches to the Macleay River bridge at Kempsey.

'This work will eliminate the delays and traffic snarls up to 6km long that develop at holiday peak periods, involving vehicles using the Pacific Highway and local traffic using Belgrave Street. r^Soi^OWWEALTH

'The new lane is expected to open in May'. 1 ms^a h

Mr Brown said he had received reports that motorists had started to appreciate the $300 million Pacific Highway upgrading being funded jointly by the Federal and NSW Governments.

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'All along the highway work gangs and bulldozers are busy constructing improvements that eventually will be incorporated into a four-lane divided road between Hexham and Tweed Heads.

'It is logical and prudent that the worst sections of the highway are fixed first and that we come back and upgrade the not-so-bad bits after that.

'I am confident this process will be an ongoing one that extends beyond the current three-year funding agreement,

'This three-year program will substantially reduce Pacific Highway road casualties by 20 per cent'.

Mr Brown said he had agreed to partially exempt from the tendering process work worth $200 000 on the Christmas and Easter Creek bridge project.

The work will be carried out by NSW Roads and Traffic Authority work gangs.

1 Construction of the 1.5 km deviation and bridges over Christmas and Easter Creeks will enhance road safety by eliminating two narrow timber bridges and approaches that are on a bad alignment.

'Travel time will be reduced, as speeds of 100 km per hour will be possible, in contrast to the existing 75 km per hour average for this section'.

Mr Brown said the $7 million Eungai Creek Deviation would start later this year and be completed next year. The Allgomera Creek roadworks will finish in 1992-93.

'It is hoped to finish the Watt Creek project within the 1991-92 financial year', Mr Brown said.

.’M i a contact: Brian Hill (06) 277 7440 (w)