THE current highway over Sexton Hill will be maintained as a local access raod once the Sexton Hill upgrade is completed in 2012.
THE current highway over Sexton Hill will be maintained as a local access raod once the Sexton Hill upgrade is completed in 2012. Tweed Daily News

Highway team chosen

THE $310 million Pacific Highway upgrade for Sexton Hill is a step closer to reality, after the announcement of the alliance team that will build it.

Abigroup Contractors, Seymour Whyte Constructions and engineering firm Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation will begin work on the upgrade later this year, after being named on Friday as the successful tenderers.

Federal Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Minister Anthony Albanese and New South Wales Roads Minister Michael Daley announced the selection.

“The construction is expected to get under way later this year and create up to 290 direct jobs in the local economy,” Mr Albanese said on Friday.

Work would now begin on the detailed design of the Banora Point upgrade, as well as environmental management plans and community consultation, Mr Albanese said.

“The Rudd Government is supporting local jobs during the global recession, making the Pacific Highway safer, and investing in first-class transport infrastructure to deliver products and produce from across the state to export markets worldwide,” Mr Albanese said.

Once completed, the road will be a six-lane dual carriageway from Barneys Point Bridge to the Tweed Heads bypass.

The existing Pacific Highway will be maintained as a local access road.

Mr Daley said it was a great example of federal and state governments working together to deliver the best possible infrastructure for the people of the New South Wales North Coast.

“This 2.5-kilometre dual carriageway upgrade will improve road safety and result in shorter travel times for motorists,” Mr Daley said.

“A new land bridge will provide a parkland connection between east and west Banora Point over the road at Wilson Park.

“In addition, a new northern interchange will connect the upgraded Pacific Highway, the local access road, Darlington Drive and Minjungbal Drive.

“Laura Street will also be realigned to meet with Short Street and the existing coastal cycle and pedestrian route will be realigned and upgraded.”

Community Highway Group member Rod Bates said the group was pleased with the timeframe for construction.

“Now that they've announced this alliance we hope we will have a part in the upcoming community consultations,” Mr Bates said. “The RTA promised we would be.”

The upgrade is scheduled for completion in 2012.



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