Major milestone on Pacific Highway upgrade at Blackmans Point

Media Release

WT030/2016

29 January 2016

Joint release with:

Duncan Gay

NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight

David Gillespie

Federal Member for Lyne

Melinda Pavey

NSW Member for Oxley

Leslie Williams

NSW Member for Port Macquarie

Residents of Port Macquarie and the Hastings Valley will soon see 48 tonne beams of steel moving through the air, with the first girders lifted on the Blackmans Point Road interchange.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the construction project, which is a major part of the $820 million Oxley Highway to Kundabung upgrade of the Pacific Highway, will create the largest interchange on this section of the highway.

“This will be the main northern entrance and exit point to Port Macquarie, and when complete, will operate as an elevated roundabout similar to the Oxley Highway interchange seven kilometres south,” Mr Truss said.

“The Oxley Highway to Kundabung upgrade will provide 23 kilometres of four-lane divided road commencing from near the intersection of the Oxley and Pacific highways just north of Port Macquarie, to just south of Kundabung.”

NSW Minister for Roads Duncan Gay said the interchange will transform the local community at Port Macquarie, benefiting local businesses and residents alike.

“We want people to visit Port Macquarie and we want them to get here safely. Upgrading the interchange will remove the need to turn right across fast moving traffic, improving safety and encouraging more travellers to visit the town centre,” Mr Gay said.

“The interchange will include on and off ramps to both the new and existing highway and will also provide important local road connectivity for residents of Blackmans Point and Telegraph Point.”

Federal Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie, who was on hand for the first girder lift today, said the Oxley Highway to Kundabung upgrade had already paid dividends for the region.

“Just in the southern section of the Port Macquarie to Kempsey upgrade alone, almost 480 direct and more than 1,300 indirect jobs have been created,” Dr Gillespie said.

“With the broader Pacific Highway upgrade on track for completion by the end of the decade, I am looking forward to seeing continued progress on this important project for the region.”

NSW Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams said the upgrade will see two overpasses built.

“This interchange is one of many components along the Oxley Highway to Kundabung upgrade, including an interchange at Haydons Wharf Road, improved flood immunity and bridges over the Hastings and Wilson rivers,” Ms Williams said.

“I am delighted to see the Australian and New South Wales governments investing so heavily in the region's infrastructure.”

Local Member for Oxley Melinda Pavey said it was wonderful to see the Pacific Highway project progress right along the mid north coast.

“We are witnessing a $3 billion investment by the State and Federal Governments in action which will see a dual carriageway between Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour by the end of 2017,” Ms Pavey said.

“The Pacific Highway Duplication will transform our region by boosting the local economy and employment opportunities”

“The two bridges being built here today have been manufactured locally in a concrete casting yard at Macksville which is a great outcome for the local community.”

The Australian and New South Wales governments are jointly funding the Oxley Highway to Kundabung upgrade, with $542.41 million and $277.59 million committed respectively.