Woodburn to Ballina Pac Hwy upgrade won't be done until 2020
ROADS and Maritime Services have refused to commit to fast-tracking the Woodburn to Ballina Pacific Hwy upgrade after calls from locals saying the project is 20 years behind schedule.
The public outrage and disappointment comes after two local men, believed to be 63-year-old John Wagner, of Coraki, and Ballina father-of-two Matthew Byrne, 24, were killed in a fiery head-on collision, just south of Broadwater on Saturday afternoon.
Motorists will still have to wait until 2020 until this dangerous section of highway is upgraded.
A Roads and Maritime Services RMS spokeswoman said the RMS will help police with their investigations into the incidents at Broadwater.
"The Australian and NSW governments have committed to completing the final 155km of the Pacific Hwy between Woolgoolga and Ballina with all sections of the upgrade to be open to traffic by 2020," she said.
"Major work on the $4.36 billion upgrade has started on the first 26km between Woolgoolga and Glenugie and early work on soft soil is under way at Harwood.
The spokeswoman said major work on the Woodburn to Ballina section of the highway will begin next year.
"Roads and Maritime Service's delivery partner Pacific Complete is concurrently preparing tenders for work along the length of the highway upgrade," she said.
"As part of the project's conditions of approval, building work can start on the Broadwater to Coolgardie section once the Federal Environment Minister is satisfied environmental conditions relating to the Ballina koala population have been met. A Ballina Koala Plan is being developed and will be submitted to the Federal Environment Minister for consideration later this year.
"Motorists are encouraged to always travel with care on the road network."