Highway upgrade between Woolgoolga and Ballina opens to traffic

Chris Gulaptis and Kevin Hogan are celebrating another section of the Pacific Hwy upgrade being finished. Photo: Supplied.

 

THE final section of the Pacific Hwy upgrade between Woolgoolga and Ballina is open to traffic.

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Last week’s opening of the 15-kilometre section between Devils Pulpit and Woodburn means the Pacific Hwy is now a dual-carriageway, four-lane road all the way between Hexham and the Queensland border.

Opening just in time for Christmas, State Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis said the completion of the highway upgrade was perfectly timed to serve the recent boom in regional tourism by improving access along the entire length of the coast.

“The Woolgoolga to Ballina upgrade will transform holiday journeys this festive season, bypassing five towns and providing a safer and more reliable road to complement the expected increase in domestic travel,” Mr Gulaptis said.

“We’ve installed the largest directional signs in NSW to showcase what each of our bypassed towns along the Pacific Hwy have to offer, so I would love even more people to visit our region and check out what they have to offer.”

The overall travel distance between Woolgoolga and Ballina will now be about 13 kilometres shorter than what it originally was and travel time between the two points will be about 25 minutes quicker.

Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan said while the project started in response to a horrific crash in Cowper in 1989, it had become much more than just a safety upgrade.

“The positive impacts of the project will continue to be felt right along the NSW North Coast, transforming tourism, freight and local journeys into smoother, and more reliable ones, which is critical for our local economies,” Mr Hogan said.

“This key piece of infrastructure will contribute to a stronger and more prosperous region by ensuring products can get to where they need to be quickly. Something we have seen become especially important this year.”

Minor finishing works will be carried out along sections of the Pacific Highway into the New Year.

 

By Brad GREENSHIELDS

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