By LEONIE BRANN
NOISE wall construction is causing traffic chaos along the Pacific Highway between the Tweed Heads and West Tweed Heads turnoffs.
And this traffic build up, caused by a reduction of traffic to one lane and the speed limit being lowered from 100 km/h to 60 km/h for the roadworks, is likely to continue until the end of March, according to the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA).
The roadworks have forced highway traffic back to one lane leading up to the Terranora Inlet overpass.
Both north and south-bound traffic was at a crawl during the peak periods of yesterday morning and afternoon and there is no sign this will ease while all three sound abatement walls are built by the RTA along that section of highway.
The traffic chaos follows weeks of reprieve for drivers, as the construction was halted during the Christmas and new year period.
But the $5.2 million project to build the three noise walls will bring some much needed relief to residents who live near the busy highway.
Construction of the noise walls along the highway began in October and the posts are now in place for the first 4.5-metre noise wall, to run along the eastern side of the highway from Ducat Park in West Tweed Heads to 150 metres north of Kiata Parade, and is expected to be finished by the end of January.
The third noise wall, that will stand 4.5 metres high and run along the eastern side of the highway starting 150 metres south of Dry Dock Road, running from the north of the Tweed Billabong Holiday Park to the southern border of the facility, will be built next.
The 4.7-metre-high wall, to be erected on the western side of the highway and to run for 465 metres to the southern end of the Terranora Creek Bridge to the middle of the Tweed Billabong Holiday Park, will be the last built.
The RTA says all three noise walls should be completed by the end of March.
The project was originally thought to be finished in February.