Early works start on $60 million Harrington-Coopernook overpass

Planning is moving ahead for an upgraded intersection on the Pacific Highway at Harrington and Coopernook roads, with survey investigations underway.

This $60 million project is funded by the Australian and New South Wales governments on an 80:20 basis.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said the Australian Government has committed $48 million towards the project.

“A grade-separated interchange will improve safety and traffic flow at this location, which has had seven crashes in the past six years resulting in one fatality,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“It’s the next stage in improvements after the full duplication of the Pacific Highway and I welcome the work being carried out to progress the design for this upgrade.”

NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the Coopernook to Herons Creek section of the upgraded highway opened to traffic in July 2010, improving safety for through traffic and locals alike.

“With the final section of the Pacific Highway duplication opening to traffic in December last year, the next logical step is to improve safety at intersections which open directly onto this busy route,” Mr Toole said.

Federal Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie said the overpass was a high priority project for local residents accessing the busy M1.

“About 5,000 vehicles move through the intersection each day and the overpass is essential to keeping local motorists safe,” Dr Gillespie said.

“Traffic counters are being installed and surveyors are carrying out early works to develop the concept design, which is expected to be displayed for public comment next year. I’m thrilled to see work underway on such a significant safety improvement for our region.”

State Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams said the Australian Government’s commitment of $48 million to this project will deliver better safety outcomes for the North Coast community as well as tourists and freight operators.

“This work will ensure better traffic flow, reduced congestion and improved travel times for the local community and other motorists moving through this major intersection in the North Coast,” Ms Williams said.

“After the community raised safety concerns with me, I’m pleased to say that this grade-separated interchange will improve road safety for all road users, ensuring local road users can join the highway more safely.”

Transport for NSW will engage a contractor in the first half of the year to continue developing the concept design for the intersection improvements and start work on the Review of Environmental Factors (REF).

Some of the investigation work used to help inform the concept design and REF will include traffic modelling, drainage, road and structural designs, as well as environmental studies including biodiversity and flooding studies.

Transport for NSW will continue to keep the community informed about progress on this important work. More information is available at http://nswroads.work/pacifichighway

Media contacts:

Deputy Prime Minister – Antony Perry | 0477 971 654 | Antony.Perry@infrastructure.gov.au

Minister Toole – Ella Smith | 0428 745 348 | Ella.Smith@minister.nsw.gov.au

Dr Gillespie – Sarah Bucknell | 0448 111 669 | Sarah.Bucknell@aph.gov.au