Urunga has not been forgotten

Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese expects construction on the Nambucca Heads to Urunga upgrade to commence next year.
Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese expects construction on the Nambucca Heads to Urunga upgrade to commence next year. BRUCE THOMAS

IT took one of the worst Pacific Highway tragedies in recent years to bring a resolve and now the killer Nambucca Heads to Urunga section has been fast-tracked.

After two weeks of public pressure, media scrutinity and desperate pleas from the victims from the Urunga double fatality, the New South Wales and Federal governments have acted.

The nation's major road builders now have until February 23 to express their interest in the accelerated upgrade of the country's killer highway section.

It's expected work will begin next year.

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said the 22-kilometre section is part of the larger 42 kilometre Warrell Creek to Urunga project and is another important step in upgrading the Pacific Highway between Port Macquarie and Raleigh, north of Urunga.

"Once completed in 2016, the Nambucca Heads to Urunga upgrade will deliver safer, smoother driving conditions for the 15,000 motorists and truck drivers who use this section of the Pacific Highway each and every day," said Mr Albanese.

The upgrade of the Nambucca Heads to Urunga section had been agreed between Ministers Albanese and Gay in light of the tragedy which saw a b-double smashed into a holiday home in the town on Sunday, January 7 after it was involved in a head-on with a utility.   

In a joint press release, Mr Albanese and NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay said a shortlist of applicants will be chosen in May and invited to submit tenders. 

"In  the meantime RMS will continue with land acquisitions and investigations to prepare
this section for the start of major construction in early-2013," Mr Albanese said.

NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay said he was pleased the Federal and NSW governments
had agreed to develop an intergovernmental agreement.

"The agreement will define the priority, timing and funding for all the remaining sections yet to be upgraded and duplicated. 

"This agreement will deliver the certainty that the community and interest groups have long demanded," said Mr Gay.

"We are determined to do all we can in partnership with the Commonwealth to complete the full duplication of the Pacific Highway by 2016," he added.

Topics:  pacific highway

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