Anticipation builds to use new Woolgoolga bypass
IF YOU have caught a glimpse of the Woolgoolga bypass section of the Pacific Hwy upgrade in the last week or so, you might be wondering why the immaculate black ribbon with fresh painted lines isn't being used.
To the naked eye the road looks completed and ready to roll, but according to Roads and Maritime Services this is not the case.
In spite of appearances, the bypass is still not due to be opened until next year.
Pictures of the Woolgoolga bypass section and its emptiness and clean surface makes the upgrade look more like an artist's impression than an actual section of road.
But the slick surface and traffic furniture won't be opened soon and the RMS is still yet to decide when vehicles will be routed that way.
An RMS spokesperson gave no clues on a precise date for the official opening.
"Work is progressing well on the Sapphire to Woolgoolga Pacific Hwy upgrade project, including the 10 kilometre Woolgoolga bypass," the spokesperson said.
"A section of concrete on the northern section is being repaired, but this is not expected to delay the overall project which is on track for completion in the second half of next year, weather permitting."
The latest update on the upgrade, from September, lists 249 workers on site with 173 pieces of large machinery.
It also seems that the Nambucca Heads to Urunga section of the highway is likely to be completed much faster than the Sapphire to Woolgoolga section.
With design work on the Urunga section still ongoing, its expected completion date is 2016.
The local section began in 2010, but presumably the extra time is because of the number of bridges and interchanges needed north of Coffs Harbour. Anyone hoping for less backed-up traffic around Woolgoolga for Christmas will have to wait for next year.