Pacific Highway upgrade to deliver more than 400 jobs

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Sydney construction
A residential construction worker watches new apartments being built in Sydney's inner-city suburb of Zetland, June 24, 2015. Reuters/Jason Reed

A contract to deliver a 34-kilometre section of upgraded Pacific Highway is set to deliver more than 400 jobs. The planned section is set to be located between Devils Pulpit and Richmond River.

According to federal member for Page Kevin Hogan, the 155-kilometre Woolgoolga to Ballina section would complete the highway upgrade to two lanes in the directions between Hexham and the Queensland border. It is tipped to create thousands of construction jobs. Hogan said this contract alone is expected to deliver about 420 jobs.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester has recently announced that CPB Contractors Pty Ltd had been awarded the works contract. It is part of the upgrade works along the Woolgoolga to Ballina section of the Pacific Highway.

“This is Australia's largest regional road infrastructure project, and certainly the biggest generator of jobs in the region, keeping money flowing through the region's economy and supporting local families,” the minister said in a media release. The fully duplicated highway is expected to be up by 2020.

Once completed, it will reduce travel times. Chester said it is already reducing fatalities, which have halved since the 90s due to works done to date.

NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey confirmed that major civil contracts were also awarded for work between Richmond River and Ballina Bypass and between Glenugie and Maclean. It helps keep the upgrade on target to open by its target year. “The main civil work contract between Devils Pulpit and Richmond River involves delivering earthwork, some soft soil treatment north of Woodburn, drainage, some road surfaces, two underpasses and four overpasses to provide access for local traffic,” Pavey said.

NSW Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis shared that significant early work in this section of the upgrade was progressing. Soil soft treatment next to Tuckombil Canal is currently undergoing settlement. Meanwhile, precast concrete bridge pieces are being delivered for the Woodburn to Broadwater service road fauna crossing. Gulaptis added that Bielby Hull Albem Joint Venture was awarded a contract to build twin bridges in this section.

The Australian and New South Wales governments are both funding the Woolgoolga to Ballina upgrade. It is reportedly being funded on an 80:20 basis.

Roads and Maritime Services continues to work alongside the administrator of Ostwald Brothers following their declaration to enter into voluntary administration. This includes looking into options for former workers to receive further employment on other Pacific Highway upgrade projects.

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