More than 80 per cent of the project between Hexham and the Queensland border has been completed, creating around 3300 jobs.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said 26 kilometres of new highway has already been opened between Woolgoolga and Glenugie with major work underway on the remaining sections of the 155-kilometre corridor.
“We are already seeing significant results as fatal crashes have halved, down from more than 40 each year to about 20 annually in recent years,” Mr McCormack said.
NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey said it was phenomenal that Australia’s largest concrete paving project, requiring more than 750,000 of cubic metres of concrete, had reached just over the half way mark.
“This is a big milestone for the project, being the largest single upgrade in the 20-year history of the Pacific Highway duplication program,” Ms Pavey said.
“When it opens to traffic in 2020, this 155-kilometre section will help to save lives, improve travel times, and contribute to regional growth, job creation and efficiencies in freight movements due to shorter travel times.”
Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan said a draft directional signage plan, now complete and available to view online, addressed key issues raised by the community.
“We plan to review the renaming of the existing highway and the proposed changes to signage for towns off the highway,” Mr Hogan said.
“There is still a lot more work to go, but we’re getting closer to providing a safer and more reliable highway from Hexham to the Queensland border and we thank the community for its patience.”