After too many accidents and too many lives lost, highway upgrade is rearing to roll.
After too many accidents and too many lives lost, highway upgrade is rearing to roll.

Highway upgrade start nears

AFTER all the campaigning and promises, finally there’s momentum on the Sapphire to Woolgoolga Pacific Highway revamp.

A site compound has gone up east of the highway near Emerald Beach and lower speed limits are in place while access to that compound is built.

A start date will be announced soon on construction of the $705 million project, which will take four years to complete.

“Environmental management plans have been submitted to the relevant government agencies for approval. Once approval has been granted, work can start,” said an RTA spokesman.

“Preliminary work is being carried out so major work canstart as soon as approvals are received.”

The massive project will provide about 25 kilometres of four-lane divided highway from Campbell Close at Sapphire to Arrawarra Beach Road at Arrawarra. Between Sapphire and Hearnes Lake Road south of Woolgoolga, the existing highway will be duplicated to a four-lane divided road.

Significantly, the project will produce a bypass of Woolgoolga and interchanges at Sapphire, Moonee Beach and Emerald Beach.

Preliminary work is already being carried out, including establishment of the site compound and the erection of project signs.

The RTA has engaged the joint venture of Leighton Contractors and Fulton Hogan to design and build the new road.

“Traffic management will be in place across the project to ensure the safety of workers, motorists and pedestrians and to help minimise disruption to traffic,” the spokesman said.

“Further speed restrictions will be put in place as building continues and motorists are asked to drive safely through work sites and observe all speed limits.”

The project is jointly funded by the State and Federal governments.


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