CONSTRUCTION began today on the $17 million Kirkwood Rd extension at Tweed Heads South.
Today a group gathered at the end of Sunshine Ave to turn the symbolic first sod and when completed in 2013, traffic should be able to flow freely from and to the Pacific Hwy on the southern side of Terranora Creek.
For all present it was a gesture to be 20 years in the making.
Beginning with Tweed MP Geoff Provest.
"This is an important step forward," Mr Provest said.
"Tweed is one of the fastest growing regional areas, and at times it moves too slowly for some residents.
"But this is only stage one, and provided we work together we can get some positive outcomes."
Tweed Shire Council has invested $10 million in the project and will rely on $30 million funding for subsequent stages from Mr Provest and the NSW Coalition Government.
Tweed Heads Residents and Ratepayers Association's Diane Gay said Mr Provest had indicated to her that now the dirt and bitumen had started to fly, so too would the money flow.
"Geoff moved here in 1989, and I've been in and out of the area since 1980," Ms Gay said.
"Where they put Tweed City, at the time no one could understand why.
"I think the idea was to open up the hills of Banora and Terranora, and now the families of the Tweed are growing the shop's good for them.
"(The) Kirkwood (Rd extension) will be great; it will take much of the traffic off Kennedy Dr.
"A lot of West Tweed residents will really benefit from this."
Tweed Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Rory Curtis said his group's response was quite simple: "About bloody time."
"We're going to have a lot of traffic in Minjungbal Dr in coming years," Mr Curtis said.
"It's even better to see the contract awarded to a local company (SEE Civil).
"It's happy days for all concerned."
Tweed mayor Barry Longland said the extension would be a "strategic link" in the Tweed Heads South road network.
"The design will also make it more convenient for motorists to access local businesses, reinforcing the area's status as the main commercial area in the Tweed," Cr Longland said.
Mr Curtis congratulated the council and Roads and Maritime Services on the extension.
"A high proportion of vehicle traffic visiting the South Tweed central business district comes from the north," he said.
"And this link road will alleviate the issues with the northern interchange roundabout at the Banora Point exit."
Work will occur from 7am-6pm (NSW) Monday-Friday, and from 7am-1pm Saturdays.
Minor delays should be expected at times west of Minjungbal Dr on Dry Dock Rd, Sunshine Ave and Kirkwood Rd.
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