Pacific Highway duplicated in NSW by 2020

Federal and state governments vow to complete 665km stretch of duplication by the end of the decade.

Pacific Highway duplicated in NSW by 2020
Federal Infastructure Manager Warren Truss

The full duplication of the Pacific Highway between Hexham (outside Newcastle) and the Queensland border will be complete by the end of the decade. The federal and NSW state governments say their commitment to the $5.6 billion project is "rock solid" and work will be finished by 2020.

"As a vital partnership, the federal and NSW Coalition Government’s know the Pacific Highway is an important artery in keeping our nation’s economic pulse beating," federal infrastructure minister Warren Truss says. "We are committed to getting the duplication completed by the end of this decade and I can report we are on schedule to achieve that timetable."

The route carries more than three-quarters of all freight traffic between Brisbane and Sydney. That equates to more than 1,000 long-distance vehicles using the Pacific Highway every day.

And Truss says the numbers are only likely to increase in the future.

"Freight volumes are projected to triple between Sydney and Brisbane by 2030 and much of the Sydney-Brisbane growth will be carried along the Pacific Highway," he says. "Improving the Pacific Highway’s efficiency is vital to improving the performance of our nation. In doing so, we will give communities of the mid and north coasts the safer, more reliable road they desperately need."

Opposition spokesman for roads in NSW Michael Daley congratulates the state government for "being on track" but says he remains dubious about the source of funding for the remaining Pacific Highway work. "Everything (NSW Premier) Mike Baird says he is going to build in the next ten years is dependent on the privatisation of electricity poles and wires," he says.

"I have no doubt the funding for the Pacific Highway falls into the same basket."

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