Update: Ballina MP Tamara Smith (Greens) has told Echonetdaily she has received assurances from RMS GM Bob Higgins ‘ the Tintenbar to Ewingsdale section of the Pacific Highway is ‘on target to open by Christmas’.
‘I understand weather is a factor in completing the infrastructure project,’ Ms Smith said today.
‘I certainly appreciate the potential impact the failure to meet the target of Christmas could have on our locals and visitors. Traffic chaos is the last thing we want for the festive season ahead.’
Original article: With the start of the school holidays now just a week away, the Roads and Maritime Service (RMS) remains unable to nominate a date for the long-awaited opening of the Tintenbar to Ewingsdale section of the Pacific Highway.
The RMS still insists the road will be open ‘by the end of the year’ but remains coy on giving a time frame despite there being less than three weeks of 2015 left.
And with Christmas looming, the RMS has warned things may get worse before they get better, with further changed traffic conditions predicted.
While some sections of the highway look ready to be opened, the critical duplication at Ewingsdale Road is far from finished and the road still narrows to a single-lane bottleneck in both directions.
The T2E website has not been updated since September and an email from Echonetdaily to project manager Peter Borelli sent 10 days ago has not elicited a response.
After contacting first the RMS head office in Sydney and then the T2E project site, neither of which were prepared to offer a comment, we were finally pointed to the Grafton office, which is overseeing the project.
There, the spokesperson gave us a two-sentence comment: ‘The $862 million Tintenbar to Ewingsdale Pacific Highway upgrade is on track to be open to traffic before the end of the year,’ the spokesperson said.
‘Roads and Maritime Services will ensure the community is kept updated about changed traffic conditions during the Christmas holiday break,’ she concluded.
Pressed on further detail, specifically what plans are in place to ensure traffic jams will be minimised and whether there would be work taking place over evenings and public holidays, the spokesperson would only say, ‘The previous response still stands. As soon as I can give you more information I will.’