Highway upgrade to preserve aboriginal sites

WORK on the upgrade of the Pacific Highway between Ballina and Woolgoolga is expected to ramp up next year, with tenders now advertised for the next section, between Woolgoolga to Glenugie.

Construction is expected to start early next year.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, Warren Truss, said the Federal and State governments were jointly contributing $564 million to this project.

"With environmental approvals granted last month and early works underway, we are progressing towards construction starting early next year," he said.

NSW Minister for Roads and Freight, Duncan Gay, said a specialist contractor had been engaged to lay a new telecommunications cable north of Maclean.

That will take place over the next four weeks, and will replace the existing copper and fibre optic cable.

"Two experienced heritage consultant teams have also been engaged in the early works, to excavate and preserve Aboriginal heritage sites along the highway," Mr Gay said.

Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis said the project would also be a great economic boost for the region.



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