Sapphire to Woolgoolga Upgrade Ready to Roll

30 July 2014

WITH the official opening of the $850 million Sapphire to Woolgoolga upgrade today, motorists will enjoy safer travel and a faster route to the north of Coffs Harbour.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the Australian Government’s $5.64 billion is making the much-needed and long-awaited duplication of the Pacific Highway a reality.

“With today’s opening, about 60 per cent of the Pacific Highway has now been upgraded to a divided highway with two lanes in each direction,” Mr Truss said.

“This is already improving travel times on the Pacific Highway and we have committed ourselves to getting the job done within this decade.”

New South Wales Minister for Roads and Freight Duncan Gay said the focus of the highway upgrade is now turning to the final 155 kilometres from Woolgoolga to Ballina.

“Detailed design work is complete for this section, which starts about six kilometres north of Woolgoolga and ends 15 kilometres south of Grafton, near Glenugie,” Mr Gay said.

“Our two governments are working together and are determined to see this upgrade finished by the end of the decade.”

Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker was on-site to open 15 kilometres of new highway today and unveiled new speed limit signs for the entire Sapphire to Woolgoolga upgrade.

“This is great news for motorists, because it means for the first time they can travel the 25 kilometres from Woolgoolga to Coffs Harbour at 110 kilometres per hour,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

“As a result of upgrades like this, motorists travelling the length of the Pacific Highway are saving on average 90 minutes, and truck drivers are saving 100 minutes.

“This is expected to increase to a massive 2.5 hour time saving once the entire upgrade is complete.”

Member for Coffs Harbour Andrew Fraser said the project had been complex and technically challenging.

“It was built around highway traffic and near the Solitary Islands Marine Park, and also involved the construction of 28 bridges and local service roads so local traffic can travel from Sapphire to Arrawarra without traveling on the new highway,” Mr Fraser said.

The Australian Government provided $705 million to the Sapphire to Woolgoolga upgrade, with the NSW Government contributing $145 million.

Media Contacts

  • For Mr Truss: Brett Heffernan 0467 650 020
  • For Mr Hartsuyker: Greg Pierce 0408 532 785
  • For Mr Gay: Marie Scoutas 0467 739 976
  • For Mr Fraser: Diane Leahy (02) 6652 6500

Read the original media release (PDF)

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