Warrell Creek to Urunga Pacific Highway upgrade technical review finalised
16 August 2012
Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) today announced the outcomes of the technical review into an alternative route for an eight kilometre section of the Pacific Highway Warrell Creek to Urunga upgrade.
An RMS spokesperson said the review considered functionality, environmental, social and economic criteria and found the approved alignment offers overall greater performance than the proposed alternative.
“The alternative alignment would also cost about $103 million more,” the spokesperson said.
“This is good news as it means we can get on with the job and progress the upgrade on a stretch of the highway the community wants to see as four-lane divided highway.
“Last year, members of the community suggested an alternative route other than the one approved by RMS.
“In response RMS organised for an independent review of the eight kilometres of highway between Wedgewood Drive south of Macksville and the Nambucca State Forest west of Nambucca Heads, including the crossing of the Nambucca River.
“The technical review compared the approved and alternative routes to determine if the alternative warranted further investigation.
“The review was carried out by an independent team of experts and specialists. The team included experts in social impact assessment, flooding and drainage impact assessment, environmental impact assessment, geotechnical investigations, cost estimation, economic analysis and road and bridge design.
“The project team will now continue with pre-building activities on the eight kilometre section including geotechnical and environmental investigations and property acquisitions.”
The draft technical review of the alternative alignment was made available for community comment for about a month from 27 March.
Feedback from more than 30 community members was received by RMS. The issues raised in submissions related to:
The need for the review
- Cost estimates
- Social and economic impacts
- Visual impacts
- Flora and fauna
- Water quality
- Timing of the start of building
The technical review submissions report is now available to view on the project website www.rms.nsw.gov.au/pacific.