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Upgrade open for business

The highway from a bridge at Wilson Park on May 14, 2012.
The highway from a bridge at Wilson Park on May 14, 2012. John Gass

THE opening of the Banora Point Pacific Hwy Upgrade today is the culmination of eight years of planning, staging and finally building.

The project cost $349 million in federal funding and $10 million from the NSW Government.

Bob Higgins, Roads and Maritime Services' Pacific Hwy general manager, was involved from day one.

"I think it is the culmination of a lot of things over a long period of time," Mr Higgins said.

"It's a difficult project to plan and build. It's a very constrained site and we had four lanes of traffic that we had to keep flowing."

Mr Higgins said a complex system of local roads and proximity of the Tweed Heads South business district added to the challenges.

"We kept a lot of the local road systems intact until we had the new highway section completed," he said.

One of the challenges that the project managers faced was blasting the rock from Sexton Hill to realign the highway.

"We wanted to keep the road as low as we could and we wanted to skirt around the really hard rock," Mr Higgins said.

"We obviously had to stop the traffic (during the blasting) and make sure the area was safe.

"We got that blasting time down to less than a minute."

By the numbers:

  • It's 2.5km long
  • Has seven new bridges
  • Two bridges were demolished.
  • 221 precast super T girders installed, each up to 40m long and weighing over 90 tonne.
  • Over 15,000sq m of bridge decks constructed.
  • Over 60,000cu m of concrete poured.
  • Over 5000 tonnes of reinforcement material installed.
  • Over 7400 lineal metres of piled foundations.
  • 274 piles bored into place.
  • Re-used over 2250cu m of demolished concrete from the site.

Topics:  banora point, pacific highway upgrade


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