THREE contractors have been shortlisted to submit a tender to design and construct the new bridge over the Clarence River, as part of the Woolgoolga to Ballina section of the Pacific Highway upgrade.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the three companies shortlisted to submit a detailed tender for consideration are Lend Lease Engineering Pty Ltd, AFVJ Acciona Ferrovial Joint Venture and Rizzani De Eccher Australia.
“This announcement continues the Australian Government’s $5.64 billion commitment to complete the Pacific Highway upgrade by the end of the decade,” Mr Truss said.
“Improving the efficiency of the Pacific Highway is vital to national productivity as this route carries three-quarters of all freight traffic between Brisbane and Sydney.”
NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Duncan Gay said the 155 kilometre Woolgoolga to Ballina upgrade is the final section of the Pacific Highway upgrade.
“The Pacific Highway upgrade is one of Australia’s largest regional road infrastructure projects and it will deliver a safer, more reliable road between Sydney and Brisbane,” Mr Gay said.
“Once the tenders are received, Roads and Maritime in partnership with its delivery partner Pacific Complete will assess the proposals. Work on the new crossing is expected to start in 2016.”
Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker said seven businesses had registered interest in building the new four lane Clarence River bridge at Harwood, which will span approximately 1.3 kilometres.
“The new bridge will be the longest of 40 bridges to be built as part of the Woolgoolga to Ballina upgrade. It must be aesthetically pleasing, meet all safety requirements, include flood mitigation measures and provide a 30 metre navigational clearance for marine traffic,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan said the new bridge will help meet future traffic needs.
“When the lift span bridge over the Clarence River at Harwood opened in 1966 it removed a bottleneck at Maclean and was the third longest bridge in New South Wales. Likewise, this new bridge is a modern-day solution to improving the highway’s efficiency and productivity,” Mr Hogan said.
Parliamentary Secretary for the North Coast and Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis said projects such as this bridge along the Pacific Highway are boosting and supporting local economies up and down the North Coast.
“At the peak of construction, 4,000 people will work directly on upgrades, with a further 12,000 working indirectly. Everyone from major construction material suppliers to local businesses and north coast residents are set to benefit from the highway upgrade,” Mr Gulaptis said.
The construction of the Woolgoolga to Ballina section is being funded by the Australian and New South Wales governments on an 80:20 basis.
For more information on the Woolgoolga to Ballina section of the Pacific Highway upgrade visit www.rms.nsw.gov.au/W2B.