HIGHWAY: See what's left to do on motorway build

PROGRESS has continued on the Woolgoolga to Ballina section of the Pacific Highway upgrade, with work on the 155km project hitting 60 per cent completion.

To date, 26km of new highway is open to traffic, while the remaining 129km is still under construction.

Roads and Maritime Services will continue to open sections of single carriageway to two-way traffic throughout the year, with the first sections of dual carriageway between Glenugie and Ballina by the end of the year.

According to the RMS, the highway upgrade will support the development of the region and provide safe travel, reduced travel times, more consistent and reliable travel and improved amenity for local communities.

The $4.9 billion stretch of highway is the final link of the Pacific Highway between Hexham and the Queensland border to be upgraded to four lanes.

Since construction began back in 2015, a total of 25 minutes has been cut from travel time in the area.

When complete, the highway will bypass South Grafton, Ulmarra and Tyndale.

The estimated completion date for the highway upgrade is next year, and the remaining sections will be progressively opened throughout next year.

Glenugie to Maclean

Looking west from Wooli Road bridge at Pillar Valley.
Looking west from Wooli Road bridge at Pillar Valley. Roads and Maritime Services
  • Distance: 48km
  • Construction: 53 per cent complete
  • Earthwork: 91 per cent complete
  • Work currently under way on four major interchanges and on 67 of 71 bridges.

Spanning a total of 48km, this section of the upgrade diverges from the existing Pacific Highway at Glenugie and heads east, passing through Pillar Valley.

Featuring interchanges at Glenugie, Tyndale and Maclean, this section is characterised by large areas of soft soils that have been undergoing settlement before major constructions starts.

Bridges are heavily featured between Glenugie and Maclean, with 71 bridges currently under construction.

Bridge over Clarence River at Harwood

An aerial view of work on the new Harwood Bridge as part of the Pacific Highway upgrade
An aerial view of work on the new Harwood Bridge as part of the Pacific Highway upgrade Adam Hourigan
  • Distance: 1.5km, 30m above the water level.
  • Construction: 98 per cent complete
  • Earthwork: Work is continuing on the approaches

The highest and longest crossing in the Woolgoolga to Ballina upgrade, the new bridge over the Clarence River at Harwood is 1.5km long, 30m above the water and will provide safer, smoother travel for motorists and eliminate the need for highway motorists to stop while the existing Harwood bridge is raised for maritime users.

Maclean to Devils Pulpit

New section of single carriageway road at Farlows Flat.
New section of single carriageway road at Farlows Flat. Roads and Maritime Services
  • Distance: 27km
  • Construction: 57 per cent complete
  • Earthwork: 81 per cent complete
  • Soft soils in this section are continuing to settle before major construction starts on some sections.

Following the path of the existing Pacific Highway and including the Yamba/Harwood and Iluka interchanges, the 27km section is one of the more technically challenging sections of highway due to the Clarence River and surrounding floodplains.

Substantial earthwork is ongoing, and a number of bridges have been built to make sure the new highway has greater immunity from flooding.

This section also features large areas of soft soils that have been undergoing settlement before major construction starts. Without soft soil treatment there is the potential for highway foundations sink and crack as the soil has a high water content and low strength.

Aerial view looking north at the Iluka interchange overpass
Aerial view looking north at the Iluka interchange overpass Contributed

For more visit www.pacific highway.nsw.gov.au, or you can contact the project team on 1800778900 or email w2b@pacificcomplete.com. au.



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