Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said in a statement that the Australian Government—in partnership with the New South Wales Government—will consider any potential changes in light of safety considerations and what benefit they will bring to motorists.
“Following community feedback, a review of local road access has been carried out and a number of proposed refinements have been identified which could significantly reduce travel distances,” Mr. Truss said.
“The final changes will need to balance the travel needs of the community with road safety requirements.
“Crashes are an enormous burden for families and on the national economy—estimated at $27 billion per year. Reducing the chance of crashes is a core focus of both governments in this project.”
NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Duncan Gay also said in the statement that a number of improvements are being proposed and full refinements are outlined in a community update, with the community encouraged to again provide further feedback.
“One improvement being considered is to let northbound traffic turn right into Mingaletta Road, reducing the travel distance by about two kilometres for motorists compared to the current design,” Mr. Gay said.
“The intersection of the Pacific Highway and Upper Smiths Creek Road would be moved about 130 metres to the south and a new right turning lane provided for southbound motorists.
“A right turn lane from the Pacific Highway would be provided for northbound motorists at Wharf Road which would reduce travel distances by about 3.7 kilometres and a combined bus stop and U-turn facility would be built at both Upper Smiths Creek Road and Wharf Road.
“The new design will also allow northbound motorists to turn right in Pipers Creek Access Road, reducing travel distance by about 1.4 kilometres from the previous design.”
The Australian and New South Wales governments are each contributing $115 million towards the 14 kilometre Kundabung to Kempsey project, which is expected to be complete in 2017, weather permitting.