Richmond MP Justine Elliot and Ballina MP Don Page (pictured) gave the project the thumbs up at a joint press conference.
‘The upgrade will see the construction of a 17.3 km four-lane divided road, bringing this stretch of the Pacific Highway to motorway standard, and with it major road-safety benefits,’ said Ms Elliot.
‘The Tintenbar to Ewingsdale section has a very adverse crash history – higher even than the overall crash rate for the Pacific Highway. Between 2002 and 2007 there were 211 reported crashes on the section, seven of which were fatal – so the project is very much needed.
‘The upgrade will improve road safety and reliability for the 12,000 vehicles that travel this section of the highway every day, including the 2,300 freight vehicles.
Don Page said the Tintenbar to Ewingsdale upgrade would reduce travel times and freight transport costs, as well as improve safety.
‘The Tintenbar to Ewingsdale project will replace the existing Pacific Highway between Ross Lane at Tintenbar to the south and Ewingsdale Road at Ewingsdale to the north,’ said Mr Page.
‘This project is expected to save two minutes of travel time once constructed, relieving the highway motorists of the significant traffic delays experienced, especially during peak holiday periods.
‘While we are duplicating this road, we are still thinking of requirements in the future. Once complete, there will be a 12-metre-wide median and 11.5-metre carriageway width to allow for an additional lane in each direction in future when required,’ Mr Page said.
The federal Labor government committed $566.1 million of the $862 million Tintenbar to Ewingsdale upgrade through the Nation Building Program, with the balance contributed by the NSW state government.