SOFT soil work has started on two sections of the Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the Australian Government had committed $5.64 billion toward the completion of the Pacific Highway upgrade by the end of the decade.
“Almost 400 kilometres of the Pacific Highway has now been duplicated between Hexham and the Queensland border. The Woolgoolga to Ballina upgrade will see the completion of these works and a boost to road safety by reducing accidents and travel times,” Mr Truss said.
New South Wales Minister for Roads Duncan Gay said businesses will be invited to tender for early soft soil works on 1.4 kilometre section of the highway south of Woodburn.
“Preparing the foundation will allow the road base to settle before concrete paving is carried out, reducing the overall time and cost of the project and ensuring a duplicated highway is open to traffic by 2020,” Mr Gay said.
Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan said the soft soil work is being managed by Roads and Maritime Services and delivery partner Pacific Complete to ensure major work on the vital duplication project can progress.
“With about 150 kilometres of highway under construction, the focus is now on delivering the Woolgoolga to Ballina upgrade,” Mr Hogan said.
NSW Parliamentary Secretary for the North Coast Chris Gulaptis said Golding Contractors are completing the soft soil work on an area between 1.9 kilometres north of Farlows Lane and Yamba Road, and between Harwood and Chatsworth Road.
“SEE Civil Pty Ltd will be starting early work along a 3.8 kilometre section of the Pacific Highway between Whytes Lane and Pimlico. During the next year, wick drains will be installed in the soft soil to drain away ground water and the soil will be mixed with granular fill to provide a stronger road base,” Mr Gulaptis said.
The Australian Government is providing 80 per cent of the cost of building the Woolgoolga to Ballina upgrade, with the New South Wales Government providing 20 per cent.
For more information on the Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade visit www.rms.nsw.gov.au/W2B