Tintenbar to Ewingsdale upgrade
THE upgrade of the Tintenbar to Ewingsdale section of the Pacific Highway to dual carriageway has moved to the top of the State Government’s priority list, the assistant minister for transport David Borger announced yesterday.
Mr Borger outlined three priority areas the government hoped to complete by 2014: the Ballina to the Queensland border section; the F3 Freeway near Hexham to Port Macquarie; and sections to the north and south of Coffs Harbour.
According to a spokeswoman, the minister could not guarantee the 2014 completion date and no commitment could be given on the upgrade of the deadly Grafton to Ballina section.
She also could not offer a starting date for the Tintenbar (at Ross Lane) to Ewingsdale (north of the Byron turn-off) upgrade but said the preferred route was established and available to view on the RTAs website and that planning approval was currently being sought.
Mr Borger said $3.6 billion had been committed to the next phase of the Pacific Highway upgrade between Hexham and the Queensland border and it was one of the largest infrastructure projects in NSW history.
While the state and federal governments promised full completion of the dual carriageway by 2006, so far only 300km of the 677km section is finished.
The Federal Government has promised $3.1 billion while NSW has attracted considerable criticism for only contributing $500 million.
The minister could not say if more funds would be allocated to the project in the future but he did say there had been safety upgrades in some sections and 19 new rest areas had been built along the route.
The next priority is the dual carriageway from Port Macquarie to Raleigh, south of Coffs Harbour, which will complete the section from Hexham to Coffs Harbour.