Highway upgrade gets go ahead

ANOTHER section of the Pacific Highway is about to be upgraded.

The State Government has granted planning approval to build 6.4km of dual lane carriageway at Devils Pulpit, 70 kilometres north of Grafton.

Minister for Planning Tony Kelly said the $105 million upgrade would greatly improve a substandard section of the highway, resulting in increased safety and reduced travel times.

“At present, this section of the highway has a fatality rate which is more than double our state plan road safety target and a large amount of heavy truck traffic,” Mr Kelly said.

Roads Minister David Borger said the RTA was inviting tenders to complete the upgrade.

“The Devils Pulpit upgrade involves upgrading the existing road from two lanes to a four-lane divided road, widening three kilometres of highway and installing wire rope barriers north of the four-lane divided road,” he said.

“Our work on the Pacific Highway is delivering results: 332 kilometres of the Pacific Highway between Hexham and the Queensland border is now dual carriageway, with a further 69 kilometres of dual carriageway currently under construction.”

Mr Kelly said to deal with the loss of native vegetation, the Roads and Traffic Authority had agreed to permanently protect about 152 hectares of compensatory vegetation.

“This means that for every one hectare of native vegetation to be cleared by this project, about another 2.5 hectares will be permanently protected elsewhere,” Mr Kelly said.

The department has imposed 53 conditions of approval on the project.



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