Hastings River bridge construction underway

Media Release

WT226/2015

30 July 2015

Joint release with:

Duncan Gay

NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight

David Gillespie

Member for Lyne

Mel Pavey

Member for Oxley

Leslie Williams

Member for Port Macquarie

Construction is about to begin on the new Hastings River Bridge north of Port Macquarie as part of the Australian and NSW Governments' $820 million Oxley Highway to Kundabung upgrade.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss, on-site to turn the first sod on the Hastings River Bridge, said the new bridge will be 570 metres long and capable of withstanding a 1-in-100 year flood event.

“Upgrading the Oxley Highway to Kundabung section of the Pacific Highway involves building 23 kilometres of four-lane divided road, including bridges over the Hastings and Wilson rivers,” Mr Truss said.

“This project is part of the Australian and NSW government's multi-billion dollar commitment to complete the Pacific Highway upgrade by the end of the decade.”

New South Wales Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Duncan Gay said today's event is a clear indication of the hard work being done by the NSW Government to get this highway duplicated by 2020.

“The milestones are rolling in thick and fast on the whole Pacific Highway upgrade and today's sod turn is a great example of a key achievement being reached by the project team,” Mr Gay said.

“Work on this particular section of the highway is moving along nicely, with work on the Wilson River Bridge, about 10 kilometres away, well underway, and expected for completion in mid-2017.

“Work is also progressing on the Blackmans Point interchange with Pacific Highway traffic recently moved onto a temporary road to allow this new interchange to be built,” Mr Gay said.

Federal Member for Lyne David Gillespie, who was also on-site today to turn the first sod, said improving flood immunity on the highway would be a real boost to productivity and efficiency.

“The new Hastings River Bridge will be built about 500 metres west of the existing bridge,” Dr Gillespie said.

Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams said local residents are set to benefit from increased economic, safety and reduced travel times as a result of the upgrades.

“Local suppliers of construction materials and many other local businesses will enjoy the flow-on benefits of construction upgrades such as this bridge,” Mrs Williams said.

“Even more importantly, the number of lives lost annually on the highway has halved and is expected to decline even further nearing the completion of further upgrades.

“Motorists travelling the length of the Pacific Highway are already saving between 90 to 100 minutes in travel time and can expect to save around a further 40 minutes when the final section is completed in 2020.”

Member for Oxley Mel Pavey said starting work today on the new Hastings River Bridge was a significant step to cementing the Pacific Highway as a safe and reliable route on the East Coast.

“The project is part of an overall $1.05 billion investment in the highway between Port Macquarie and Kempsey over three years.

“It will deliver a major economic boost for the region through the creation of 933 construction jobs and more than 2,900 indirect jobs,” Ms Pavey said.

The Australian Government has committed $542.41 million and the New South Wales Government $277.59 million to the Oxley Highway to Kundabung upgrade.

Construction on the Hastings River Bridge is expected to be complete by late 2017.