$10M spruce up of major secondary road underway

The first patch of pavement on a three-year, $10 million upgrade of one of the region's major secondary transport routes, the Woodburn-Coraki Road, has begun.

The initial round of works, scheduled to take seven days, involve resurfacing a 270m section at the Woodburn end of the road, between the Rocky Mouth Creek bridge and the start of the 100kmh zone.

This will include removal of the current surface of the road and replacing it with a premium asphalt mix to ensure durability, longevity, and a smooth ride quality for motorists.

General Manager Vaughan Macdonald said the Woodburn-Coraki Road was one of the area's most vital roads, and its upgrade had been a long-term council priority.

"Woodburn-Coraki Road connects the mid-Richmond villages of Woodburn, Evans Head, Broadwater and Rileys Hill to Coraki and Casino," Mr Macdonald said.

"It is one of the most important link roads in our local government area, frequently used by local residents, agricultural businesses, and regional travellers, and has long been a strategic focus of our road maintenance program."

Mr Macdonald said the intense use of Coraki's high-quality quarries for the Pacific Highway upgrade had put the 19km road under increasing strain, making its maintenance a more urgent priority.

He said daily use by heavy haulage trucks to transport up to 1.3 million tonnes of blue metal each year from the quarries to the Pacific Highway loads put immense pressure on the road, beyond what it was originally designed for.

The schedule of works will see $3 million of works in this calendar year, and weather permitting, the remaining $7 million of works between July and December in 2022.

Richmond Valley Mayor Robert Mustow said he was pleased to see work start on the $10 million upgrade.

"I know many local residents who use this road daily will appreciate it being safer and more comfortable to drive as the work progresses over the next two years," he said.

"Woodburn-Coraki Road is also an increasingly important route for regional travellers taking an alternative route off the Pacific Highway to access Coraki, Casino and beyond.

"Council has a strong emphasis on boosting tourism across the Richmond Valley, illustrated by the recent launch of our draft Destination Management Plan, and having quality arterial roads across our local government area is an important component for encouraging

travellers to venture beyond the main highways.

"I look forward to the work progressing over the next three years."

Details about the current work on Woodburn-Coraki Road:

The roadworks commenced last Thursday and are on track for completion by Friday, January 22.

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