Almost 25 years since the horrific Clybucca bus crash and after four years of planning and community consultations, the upgrade and full duplication of the Pacific Highway between Frederickton and Eungai is finally underway.
Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese yesterday joined local community leaders to celebrate this historic occasion and participate in the ground-breaking ceremony marking the official start of work on the multi-million upgrade.
“I’m proud to be the Federal Infrastructure Minister who’s been able to secure the funding and achieved the cooperation necessary to making today and this project a reality,” said Mr Albanese.
“I also pay tribute to the local community and their persistent campaign to have this notorious stretch of road fixed once and for all.
“While most of us know of the Pacific Highway as a vital freight route between our nation’s biggest and third biggest city or have used to take the family on holidays, for those living along it this road is an indispensable part of their everyday lives.
“Rebuilding the Pacific Highway is the largest, most complex nation building road project ever undertaken in Australia, and Federal Labor has committed $7.9 billion to the task. That’s almost seven times the $1.3 billion our predecessors spent during their 12 long years in office.”
NSW Roads and Ports Minister Duncan Gay said once completed in 2016, this new fully duplicated section of the Pacific Highway will further reduce journey times and save lives.
“The horrific events at Clybucca over 20 years ago left an indelible mark on the local community and they will no doubt be relieved to see the work now underway on upgrading this deadly stretch of road,” said Mr Gay.
“As well as realigning and straightening the Highway, the project will also build a new interchange at Stuarts Point Road and install additional rest areas, with the final product engineered to withstand all but a once in a century flooding event.”
Being jointly funded by the Federal and NSW governments on a 50-50 basis, the Frederickton to Eungai Upgrade will shift the Highway to the west of its existing alignment and link up with the new, recently completed Kempsey Bypass – see attached map.