Pacific Highway (Australia)


Pacific Highway (Australia)

Infobox Australian Road
road_name = Pacific Highway
route_



route_

route_

photo =
caption = see other route designations below
Under conversion to [cite web|url=http://www.ozroads.com.au/NSW/Special/MAB/evidence.htm|title=Alpha-Numeric Route Numbering for NSW. It is here!|publisher= "Ozroads: the Australian Roads Website"|accessdate=2007-12-29] .
length = 1025
direction = North-South
start =
finish = "'
est =
through = Ballina, Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Kempsey, Taree, Newcastle, Gosford, Wahroonga
route = "Tweed Heads-Hexham:" "Artarmon-Crows Nest: (No Shield)"
exits = Miller Street

The Pacific Highway is a major transport route in eastern
Australia and is part of Australia's Highway 1. It is Convert|1025|km|mi|0|lk=on|abbr=on long and links Sydney, the capital of New South Wales, to Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, along the coast, via Gosford, Newcastle, Taree, Port Macquarie, Kempsey, Coffs Harbour, Grafton, Ballina and the Gold Coast. It is known as a dangerous piece of road due to the higher-than-average death toll. Today, only 40% or Convert|250|km|mi|0|abbr=on is dual carriageway and 10% or Convert|78|km|mi|0|abbr=on is under construction.cite web|url=http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/constructionmaintenance/majorconstructionprojectsregional/pacifichighwayupgrade/index.html?clid=pachwy|title=Pacific Highway upgrade|publisher=NSW Roads and Traffic Authority|date=2008-10-01|accessdate=2008-10-11]

History

Initially, the primary mode of transport of the New South Wales North Coast towns was sea transport. The road linking Tweed Heads and Newcastle was only partly sealed, flood-prone and had many river crossings without bridges (using ferries). This was designated the North Coast Highway in 1928. It was renamed the Pacific Highway in 1931.

Most freight traffic between New South Wales and Queensland passed along the New England Highway instead, due to the easier topography of the Northern Tablelands it traverses. From 1950 through to 1967, traffic quadrupled as the North Coast became an attractive retirement and tourist destination. The highway was subsequently improved, the last section to be sealed was in 1958 at Koorainghait south of Taree, and the last road ferry crossing was replaced by the Harwood Bridge over the South Channel of the Clarence River in 1966 (the north channel had been bridged in 1931).

However it is still hilly and winding in many stretches. With increases in traffic, towns and villages are gradually being bypassed. As late as 1977, overtaking lanes or climbing lanes were rare, hence traffic slowed down in peak seasons. The increase in traffic during holidays combined with the dangerous stretches resulted in many fatalities.

Two major coach accidents on the Pacific Highway in 1989 near Grafton (in which 20 people died) and at Clybucca near Kempsey (in which 35 people died) resulted in a public outcry over the poor quality of the road and its high fatality rate. [cite web|url=http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/PARLMENT/hansArt.nsf/5f584b237987507aca256d09008051f3/96a63a38211b5b58ca256dfd000947cb!OpenDocument|title=Pacific Highway Upgrade|publisher=Parliament of New South Wales|date=3 December 2003] It did not examine the question of why the North Coast railway had failed to be improved to handle increased economic development on the North Coast, and the consequent overloading of the road system with long distance freight and passenger traffic. It was clear that the road, built when the North Coast was merely an agricultural area, could not handle the amount of traffic in the rapidly growing region. The Pacific Highway was never part of the Federally funded system of National Highways. This appears to be because when the Commonwealth funding of the 'national highway' system began in 1974, the New England Highway was chosen rather than the Pacific Highway as the Sydney-Brisbane link due to its easier topography and consequent lower upgrade costs.

Yet the highway was undeniably heavily used by interstate traffic and its upgrade was beyond the resources of the New South Wales Government alone. The NSW Government and the Commonwealth Government argued for years about how the responsibility for funding the highway's upgrade should be divided between themselves, only coming up with a mutually acceptable upgrade package just after the 1996/1997 financial year. The Highway is now part of the AusLink National Network and new projects are funded 50/50 by the Federal and State governments.

The Pacific Highway today

Single carriageway sections from Tweed Heads to Newcastle are progressively being converted to Freeway/motorway or dual carriageway standards. Numerous sections of single carriageway road have been upgraded by the addition of sections of overtaking lane and pavement widening. Many towns have been bypassed by motorway-standard stretches, though the highway still snakes through several large towns such as Coffs Harbour and Kempsey. Overall the highway has become safer and travelling times have been substantially reduced particularly during holiday periods. However, about 60% (323 km) of the Pacific Hwy is still only one lane in each direction with some form of overtaking opportunity occasionally (or three lanes undivided on occasions), 40% (263 km) is dual carriageway and a further 10% (78km) of dual carriageway is under construction. From time to time, there are proposals in the media for the private sector to build a fully controlled-access high-speed tollway between Newcastle and the Queensland border, possibly using the BOT system of infrastructure provision. Nothing has eventuated from these proposals. [cite web|url=http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,21980620-421,00.html?from=public_rss|title=Drivers hit with more toll roads|publisher=news.com.au|date=28 June 2007]

The Pacific Highway was replaced by the Sydney-Newcastle Freeway as the national route between Sydney and Black Hill in sections between 1965 and 1992. Dual carriageway extends from the end of the freeway at Black Hill north to a point 2 km north of the Myall Way intersection.cite web|url=http://www.auslink.gov.au/projects/ProjectDetails.aspx?Project_id=NANP0006|title=Pacific Highway - Karuah to Bulahdelah Sections 2 and 3|publisher=Department of Transport and Regional Services (Australia)|accessdate=2007-10-13] cite web|url=http://www.auslink.gov.au/projects/ProjectDetails.aspx?Project_id=NSWUA0005|title=Pacific Highway - Joint Australian and NSW Government Upgrading Program|publisher=Department of Transport and Regional Services (Australia)|accessdate=2007-10-13] cite web|url=http://www.auslink.gov.au/projects/ProjectDetails.aspx?Project_id=NSWUA0007|title=Pacific Highway - Bulahdelah Bypass|publisher=Department of Transport and Regional Services (Australia)|accessdate=2007-10-13] Construction work has commenced on a dual carriageway section extending from this point to approximately 3 km south of Bulahdelah which is expected to be completed in 2009.cite web|url=http://www.k2b.abigroup.com.au|title=Karuah to Bulahdelah sections 2 and 3|publisher=Abigroup|date=25 May 2007] cite web|url=http://www.k2b.abigroup.com.au/html/construction_progress_b.html|title=Construction progress|publisher=Abigroup|date=25 May 2007] Here the new section will join with the new dual carriageway Bulahdelah bypass which was approved on 9 July 2007.cite web|url=http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/constructionmaintenance/majorconstructionprojectsregional/pacifichighwayupgrade/bulahdelah/index.html|title=Bulahdelah upgrade|publisher=NSW Roads and Traffic Authority|date=19 October 2007] cite web|url=http://www.ministers.dotars.gov.au/jl/releases/2006/May/l50_2006.htm|title=Media Release - Bulahdelah Bypass Funding Approved|publisher=Ministers for Transport and Regional Services|date=3 May 2006] [cite web|url=http://taree.yourguide.com.au/detail.asp?story_id=1027551|title=$123 million Bulahdelah highway bypass approved|pubisher=yourguide.com.au (originally published in Manning River Times)|date=27 July 2007] cite web|url=http://myallcoast.yourguide.com.au/detail.asp?story_id=1037321|title=Bypass given green light|publisher=yourguide.com.au (originally published in Myall Coast Nota)|date=15 August 2007]

From Bulahdelah the highway is dual carriageway as far north as Port Macquarie at the Oxley Highway interchange. The section between north Coopernook to Herons Creek is under construction, and will provide dual carriageway conditions between north Bulahdelah to Port Macquarie, opening in 2009, bypassing Moorland, Johns River and Kew.cite web|url=http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/doingbusinesswithus/tenderscontracts/contractsawarded/roadworks/class3/2007052314372922003.html|title=Contract ID: Project Alliance Agreement|publisher=NSW Roads and Traffic Authority|date=29 May 2007|accessdate=2007-11-23] cite web|url=http://www.c2hc.com.au/index.html|title=Coopernook to Herons Creek|publisher=Thiess Pty Ltd|date=2 October 2007|accessdate=2007-11-21] cite web|url=http://taree.yourguide.com.au/detail.asp?class=news&subclass=general&story_id=1040894&category=general|title=Moorland truck stop's uncertain future|publisher=yourguide.com.au (originally published in Manning River Times)|date=22 August 2007]

Beyond this are dual carriageway sections from Herons Creek to Port Macquarie (3 km north of Kew), Eungai-Warrell Creek, North Urunga to Coffs Harbour (bypassing Bonville [ [http://bonville.abigroup.com.au/ Bonville Upgrade] ] ) and through the Coffs Harbour urban area (not freeway standard - but still 4 lanes). In addition, the highway from Ewingsdale interchange (the Byron Bay exit) to Brisbane is dual carriageway. [http://www.news.com.au/sundaymail/story/0,,21719531-953,00.html Dream run for Byron | The Courier-Mail ] ] [http://www.northernstar.com.au/localnews/storydisplay.cfm?storyid=3740822&thesection=localnews&thesubsection=&thesecondsubsection= Hundreds attend opening of new highway - Lismore Northern Star - 2007-07-09 08:00:00.0 - localnews ] ] http://www.gcbulletin.com.au/article/2007/07/07/6180_news.html] [http://www.northernstar.com.au/localnews/storydisplay.cfm?storyid=3741213&thesection=localnews&thesubsection=&thesecondsubsection= New highway is heaven for drivers - Lismore Northern Star - 2007-07-12 08:00:00.0 - localnews ] ] cite web|url=http://www.ministers.dotars.gov.au/jl/releases/2007/July/L047_2007.htm|title=Media Release|publisher=Ministers for Transport and Regional Services|date=TBA|accessdate=2007-11-21] This section of the highway has just one traffic signal, at Banora Point (or Sextons Hill), but development of the EIS and SIS (environmental impact statement and the species impact statement) is underway for a 2 km deviation to "eliminate" this traffic signal [http://www.pb.com.au/BanoraPoint/ Banora Point upgrade] ] .

Currently, major construction projects are underway on the 12 km Ballina bypass which is expected to be completed by 2012, the 10 km Bonville deviation/duplication opening in September 2008, the 23 km Karuah to Bulahdelah deviation/duplication (sections 2 and 3) opening in October 2009, [cite web|url=http://www.k2b.abigroup.com.au/html/faq_a.html|title=Frequently asked questions|work=Karuah to Bulahdelah sections 2 and 3|publisher=Abigroup|date=2007-05-25|accessdate=2008-07-19] and the 33 km deviation from north Coopernook to Herons Creek also opening in 2009. These will result in continuous dual carriageway from Sydney to Port Macquarie (apart from Bulahdelah and the 3 km approaches to Bulahdelah).

The Ballina bypass is to begin construction very soon; the RTA website says "pre-construction". [http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/constructionmaintenance/majorconstructionprojectsregional/pacifichighwayupgrade/index.html Pacific Highway upgrade ] ] [ [http://www.ballinabypass.com.au/ Ballina bypass ] ] [ [http://www.auslink.gov.au/projects/ProjectDetails.aspx?Project_id=NSWUA0006 AusLink Projects ] ]

Six "Environmental assessments" (SIS) have commenced: Banora Point upgrade, Tintenbar to Ewingsdale upgrade, [ [http://www.arup.com.au/tintenbar/ Tintenbar to Ewingsdale ] ] Sapphire to Woolgoolga upgrade, [ [http://www.conwag.com/external/sapphire/ Sapphire to Woolgoolga upgrade ] ] Warrell Creek to Urunga upgrade, [ [http://commcons.skm.com.au/macksville-urunga/ Warrell Creek to Urunga ] ] Kempsey to Eungai upgrade [ [http://www.pb.com.au/kempseytoeungai/ Kempsey to Eungai upgrade ] ] Oxley Highway to Kempsey. [ [http://www.ghd.com.au/oxleyhway/index.htm Pacific Highway Upgrade - Oxley Highway to Kempsey ] ]

The four "Preferred route selected" projects are: Woodburn to Ballina Upgrade, [ [http://www.woodburntoballina.com.au/ Welcome to the Woodburn to Ballina Website ] ] Wells Crossing to Iluka Road, [ [http://commcons.skm.com.au/wellscrossing/ Wells Crossing to Iluka Road ] ] Woolgoolga to Wells Crossing [ [http://www.ghd.com.au/woolgoolga/index.htm Pacific Highway Upgrade - Woolgoolga to Wells Crossing ] ] and the F3 Freeway to Raymond Terrace Upgrade. [ [http://upstart2.theoutfit.co.nz/maunsell/_rta/ F3 Freeway to Raymond Terrace upgrade ] ]

The Coffs Harbour bypass is currently in planning [ [http://www.coffscoastadvocate.com.au/localnews/storydisplay.cfm?storyid=3738573 Fears over funding for new bypass - Coffs Coast Advocate - 2007-06-20 08:00:00.0 - localnews ] ] and a traffic master plan for the Tweed includes: [http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/constructionmaintenance/majorconstructionprojectsregional/pacifichighwayupgrade/programdetails/lowertweed_plan.html "RTA and Tweed Council traffic master plan"] :
* Banora Point deviation (2.5 km) - In 2010-2015
* 4-way (full diamond) access ramps of Kirkwook Road - In 2015-2020
* The Tweed Heads bypass (5 km) widening to six lanes (3 lanes in each direction) - In 2020-2025.

These projects form part of a 2009-2016 program jointly funded on a 50-50 basis by the Commonwealth and NSW governments to upgrade the Hexham-Gold Coast stretch of the Pacific Highway to dual-carriageway standard.

The five major objectives for the Pacific Highway upgrade are:
# Four lanes from Brisbane to Ewingsdale Interchange (Byron Bay exit) by 2007 - This has been achieved in July 2007.
# Four lanes from north Urunga to Coffs Harbour by 2008. [http://www.dotars.gov.au/department/statements/2007_2008/media/002trs.aspx Pressing Ahead With The Pacific And Hume Highways ] ]
# Four lanes from Sydney to Oxley Highway Interchange (Port Macquarie exit) by 2009 (except for Bulahdelah and the approaches to Bulahdelah).
# Four lanes from Brisbane to Ballina by 2012.
# Four lanes for all the rest of the Pacific Highway by 2016. [ [http://www.ministers.dotars.gov.au/jl/releases/2006/July/L85_2006.htm Pacific Highway Safety Works Set To Start ] ] [ [http://www.ministers.dotars.gov.au/wtr/releases/2006/June/095WT_2006.htm Truss Welcomes Pacific Highway Pledge From Stoner ] ] [ [http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/05/09/1917992.htm MP pleased with Pacific Hwy Budget funds - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) ] ]

In 2007 mounting pressure was place on the Federal Government to provide additional funding for the highway.fact|date=November 2007 On 10 October 2007 the Federal Minister for Transport and Regional Services pledged $2.4 billion in funding for the highway, subject to dollar for dollar funding by the NSW state government. However, the NSW state government refused to match funding. In the lead up to the 2007 Federal election, then opposition leader Kevin Rudd pledged $1.5 billion in funding. [cite news|url=http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/11/06/2082919.htm?section=justin|title=Rudd pledges $1.5b for Pacific Hwy upgrade|publisher=Australian Broadcasting Corporation|date=6 November 2007|accessdate=2007-11-27]

Route Description

From Sydney the Pacific Highway starts as the continuation of the Bradfield Highway at the northern end of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, immediately north of the Sydney Central Business District and is the main route as far as the suburb of Wahroonga. From the Harbour Bridge to the Gore Hill Freeway at Artarmon it has no route number and from the Gore Hill Freeway to Wahroonga it is designated as Metroad 1. From Wahroonga to Hexham near Newcastle the Pacific Highway has been superseded by the Sydney-Newcastle Freeway, known formerly and until today colloquially as the F3. The present designation of this road is National Highway 1. The freeway ends at John Renshaw Drive at Beresfield, from which a connector road leads to the New England Highway (national highway 15) between Hexham and Maitland. Northbound traffic turns right onto a short section John Renshaw Drive then connect via an overpass to the New England Highway towards Newcastle, to rejoin the Pacific Highway at Hexham interchange.

Back at Wahroonga, the Pacific Highway itself is located mostly parallel to the freeway until Kariong (at which point it diverts into the Central Coast through Gosford and Wyong). It continues along this route (designated state route 83) until Doyalson. The section of the highway from Cowan to Kariong follows a scenic winding route. At present the section between the F3 interchange at Calga and the intersection with Wiseman's Ferry Road at Somersby is closed to through traffic following degradation of the road surface, which claimed a life during the 2007 Hunter Valley and Central Coast storms. The section of what was formerly the Pacific Highway from the Wiseman's Ferry Road junction at Somersby, through to the Pacific Hwy exit at Gosford (adjacent to Brian McGowan Bridge), has been rebadged as the Central Coast Highway, still carrying State Route 83.

Between 1925 and 1930 the then-Main Roads Board reconstructed a route between Hornsby and Calga that had been abandoned some forty years earlier, in order to provide a direct road link between Sydney and Newcastle. In addition a replacement route, from Calga into the gorge of Mooney Mooney Creek and up to the ridge at Kariong above Gosford, was also required. This new Sydney-Newcastle route via Calga and Gosford was some 80 km shorter than the previous route via Parramatta, McGraths Hill, Maroota, Wisemans Ferry, Wollombi and Cessnock. At first Peats Ferry was reinstituted to cross the Hawkesbury River, with construction of the bridge not beginning until 1938, due to the Great Depression. Due to the onset of World War II, the bridge was not completed until May 1945. Currently the highway is closed between the Calga interchange and the Somersby interchange due to a part of the road collapsing as a result of the floods that hit the Central Coast and Newcastle region. [http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,21897447-1702,00.html?from=public_rss]

The highway recommences as state route 83 in Gosford and continues north through the Central Coast suburbs of Ourimbah and Wyong as a regional route before meeting with a spur of the Sydney-Newcastle Freeway near Doyalson numbered as state route 111. At this point the Pacific Highway becomes state route 111, and is a four-lane regional highway passing Lake Macquarie and on through the suburbs of Newcastle before rejoining national route 1 at Hexham.

From Bennetts Green to Sandgate it is supplemented by state highway 13 (marked as state route 123), through New Lambton and Jesmond. Two lengths of this route (Gateshead-Kotara Heights and Jesmond-Shortland) have been replaced by freeway.

From Hexham, the Pacific Highway (now national route 1 again) passes along the NSW North Coast and across the state border into Queensland at Tweed Heads, on the southern fringe of the Gold Coast, Queensland. From here, the Highway is a divided four-lane urban arterial to Billinga, where it becomes the Pacific Motorway. The former route of the Pacific Highway through Burleigh Heads, Surfers Paradise and Southport was renamed the Gold Coast Highway.

Interchanges

Interchanges on motorway standard sections, from north to south.

peed limits (south to north)

Hexham to Port Macquarie
* Hexham bridges - 80 km/h northbound / 60 km/h southbound
* Hexham bridges to Motto Farm - 80 km/h with variable speed limits due to construction works still active at the intersection of Pacific Highway and Tomago Roadcite web|url=http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/constructionmaintenance/majorconstructionprojectsregional/hunter/intersection_improvements_tomago.html |title=Intersection improvements at Tomago|publisher=NSW Roads and Traffic Authority|accessdate=2008-07-19 ]
* Motto Farm to Raymond Terrace bypass - 70 km/h
* Raymond Terrace bypass to the Bucketts Way at-grade intersection - 100 km/h
* The Bucketts Way at-grade intersection to just north of the Myall Way at-grade intersection - 110 km/h
* Just north of Myall Way to South Bulahdelah - Variable speed limits ("constructing dual carriageways from 1 km north of Myall Way to 1 km south of Booral Road, with expected completion in late 2009")
* South Bulahdelah - 80 km/h
* Bulahdelah - Mainly 60 km/h and 40 km/h at the school near Lee Street, within school times
* Bulahdelah bypass - 110 km/h ("Construction commenced in November 2007 on southern half of the Bulahdelah bypass, no other dates are given")
* North Bulahdelah - 90 km/h
* North Bulahdelah to Wootton Way - 110 km/h
* Wootton Way to Coolongnook - 100 km/h
* Coolongolook - 80 km/h
* Coolongolook to Possum Brush - 100 km/h (in-between Trittion Road and Stills Road, northbound only - 90 km/h)
* Possum Brush to just north of Coopernook - 110 km/h
* Just north of Coopernook to Herons Creek - Variable speed limits ("constructing dual carriageways from 3km north of Coopernook to Herons Creek, expected opening December 2009")
* Herons Creek to Oxley Hwy interchange (Port Macquarie exit) - 110 km/h (in-between Herons Creek and Stills Road, northbound only - 90 km/h)Port Macquarie to Coffs Harbour
*Oxley Hwy interchange to Hastings River Bridge - 80 km/h
*Hastings River Bridge to Kempsey - 100 km/h (fixed speed camera near Kundabung)
*Kempsey town area - 50-80 km/h (3 Traffic lights)
*Kempsey to Frederickton - 100 km/h
*Frederickton town area - 50 km/h (Sharp curves)
*Frederickton to Macksville - 100 km/h (40km/h school zone at Bellimbopinni)
*Macksville town area - 50 km/h (Sharp bend, narrow bridge and traffic light)
*Macksville to Nambucca Heads - 100 km/h (fixed speed camera 6km south of Nambucca Heads)
*Nambucca Heads town area - 60 km/h
*Nambucca Heads to Valla Beach - 100 km/h
*Valla Beach to Urunga - 80 km/h (fixed speed camera near Hungry Head turnoff)
*Urunga town area - 60 km/h (fixed speed camera)
*Urunga to Repton (Raleigh) - 100 km/h
*Repton to Sawtell (southern turn off) - 60 km/h (fixed speed camera at Bonville )(Construction Zone for the [http://bonville.abigroup.com.au/ Bonville Deviation/Upgrade] , due for completion September 2008)
*Sawtell (southern turn off) to Boambee - 100 km/h
* Boambee to Coffs Harbour - 70 km/hCoffs Harbour to Ballina
*Coffs Harbour town area - 60 km/h (approx 12 traffic lights, heavy traffic area)
*Coffs Harbour to Korora - 80 km/h
*Korora to Sandy Beach north turn off - 100 km/h (fixed speed camera at Korora)
*Sandy Beach north turn off to Woolgoolga - 80 km/h
*Woolgoolga town area - 60 km/h (roundabout)
*Woolgoolga to Grafton - 100 km/h (Kangaroos 5 to 20km south of Grafton, Horses near Corindi, 3km divided road at Halfway creek)
*Grafton town area - 60 km/h (Centenary Drive or High Level Bypass - 80 km/h)
*Grafton to Ulmarra - 100 km/h
*Ulmarra town area - 50 km/h (School Zone 40km/h, sharp curves)
*Ulmarra to Maclean (southern turn off) - 100 km/h
*Maclean (southern turn off) to Woodburn - 100 km/h (25 km of kangaroo zone)
*Woodburn town area - 50 km/h (fixed speed camera northern end of town)
*Woodburn to Broadwater - 100 km/h (a rough surface 80km/h zone)
*Broadwater town area - 60 km/h
*Broadwater to Bruxner Hwy (Teven) Junction - 100 km/h (fixed speed camera 5km north of Wardell)
*Bruxner Hwy Junction to Ballina - 80 km/hBallina to Brisbane
* Ballina - 60 km/h (7 roundabouts) (Ballina bypass - 110 km/h ("no date provided for Ballina bypass opening")cite web|url=http://www.ballinabypass.com.au|title=Ballina bypass|publisher=Vortex Design Studio Pty Ltd|date=23 October 2007|accessdate=2008-07-19]
* Ballina to Cumbalum - 100 km/h
* Cumbalum to Tintenbar - 80km/h (60km/h trucks, 70 m climb/descent)
* Tintenbar to Newrybar - 100 km/h
* Newrybar to Bangalow Bypass - 80 km/h
* Bangalow Bypass - 110 km/h
* Bangalow Turnoff to Macleods Shoot - 100 km/h
* Macleods Shoot to Ewingsdale interchage (Byron Bay exit) - 60 km/h (fixed speed camera, 140 m climb/descent)
* Ewingsdale interchage (Byron Bay exit) to Chinderah - 110 km/h
* Chinderah to Banora Point - 90 km/h (Northbound only)
* Banora Point - 70 km/h ("EIS/SIS completed for the proposed Banora Point upgrade")
* Sexton Hill (just north of Banora Point) - 80 km/h (fixed speed camera)
* Sexton Hill to Nerang - 100 km/h (including the Tugun bypass)
* Nerang to Beenleigh - 110 km/h
* Beenleigh to Greenslopes - 100 km/h
* Greenslopes to Captain Cook Bridge - 80 km/h (Construction zone)
* Captain Cook Bridge to Turbot Street (CBD) (Riverside Expressway) - 70 km/h

Cities and towns

The Pacific Highway passes through some of Australia's fastest growing regions, the NSW's Central Coast and North Coast and also the Brisbane-Gold Coast corridor, with tourism and leisure being the primary economic activity. Hence the traffic is heavy, particularly during holiday seasons, resulting in major congestion. For direct Sydney-Brisbane travel, the New England Highway is preferred as it passes through fewer major towns and carries less local traffic. Another alternate route is via the scenic Bucketts Way and Thunderbolts Way to the Northern Tablelands at Walcha before rejoining the New England Highway at Uralla. This route reduces the distance of the Sydney to Brisbane trip by about 70km.

Major cities and towns along the Pacific Highway include: Gosford, Wyong, Newcastle, Taree, Port Macquarie, Kempsey, Coffs Harbour, Grafton, Ballina and Byron Bay, all in New South Wales; and Gold Coast in Queensland.


= Gosford =

Gosford is the commercial centre of the Central Coast, Australia's ninth largest urban area at the 2001 census. Gosford is located on Brisbane Water which is an inlet off Broken Bay. The Central Coast has a moderate climate, good beaches and pretty bushland areas. It includes popular holiday resorts such as Terrigal, The Entrance and Ettalong Beach. A small section of 7 kilometres between the Sydney Newcastle Freeway at Kariong, and the Pacific Highway at Gosford was renamed the Central Coast Highway from 9 August 2006. [ [http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/constructionmaintenance/majorconstructionprojectsregional/centralcoast/kariong-doyalson.html Kariong to Doyalson ] ]


= Newcastle =

Newcastle is the second largest city in New South Wales and is the commercial, administrative and industrial hub of the Hunter Valley, a region with a population of approximately 590,000. Once a major industrial city, it is now an elegant destination full of historic buildings, beaches, interesting sights and cultural activities.

The preferred method of reaching Newcastle from the freeway is to take the Newcastle Link Road (the Newcastle/Wallsend exit) from the Newcastle Freeway. Alternatively, Newcastle may be reached by taking the Doyalson exit from the Freeway and following the Pacific Highway (route 111), or by continuing to the end of the freeway and turning right onto John Renshaw Drive and then the New England Highway, travelling through Hexham.


= Bulahdelah =

Bulahdelah is about 80 kilometres (64 miles) north of Newcastle with a population just over 1,000 and Bulahdelah is the last town that is yet to be bypassed (between Hexham and Port Maquarie). "Joint planning and funding approval" for the 8.5 kilometre bypass of the township of Bulahdelah was given on 9 July, 2007. [http://taree.yourguide.com.au/detail.asp?class=news&subclass=general&story_id=1027551&category=general $123 million Bulahdelah highway bypass approved - Local - General - Manning River Times ] ] [http://myallcoast.yourguide.com.au/detail.asp?class=news&subclass=general&story_id=1047686&category=general Myall Coast Nota - Plan for the future] ] [ [http://myallcoast.yourguide.com.au/detail.asp?story_id=1037321 Bypass given green light - Local - General - Myall Coast ] ]


= Taree =

Taree is a major North Coast town. It is a major service centre and stopover point rather than a tourist destination. Among the attractions apart from forests and waterways is the 'Big Oyster'. The Highway now passes to the east of the town, following the opening of a bypass in 1998.


= Port Macquarie =

Port Macquarie is the major resort on the Mid North Coast. It is located slightly off the Pacific Highway via the Oxley Highway. It was first settled in 1821 and has historic buildings, a museum, nature reserves, surfing beaches, fishing locations and a variety of accommodation.


= Kempsey =

Kempsey is a large town located on the Macleay River halfway between Sydney and the Gold Coast, making it a popular stopping point for people making the journey along the Pacific Highway. Akubra Hats are made in Kempsey and it was the home town of Slim Dusty.


= Coffs Harbour =

Coffs Harbour is the commercial and administrative centre of the Mid North Coast and is the major resort of the NSW North Coast. With a subtropical climate, Coffs Harbour is popular with retirees and tourists. This is evident from its suburban development, more akin to big cities than North Coast towns. It is also famous for its banana plantations, celebrated by 'The Big Banana' tourist destination. Apart from banana growing fishing is important here. The Jetty area of the city includes a marina, a large harbour with an accessible jetty, shops, restaurants and cafes, as well as the Muttonbird Island reserve, famous for its muttonbird population. South is Sawtell, which is a fast-developing coastal resort with attractive beaches and its famous main street with cafes, clubs and shops. To the north of Coffs Harbour is Woolgoolga, which has similar attractions, and has two temples serving a large local Sikh population.


= Grafton =

Grafton is a regional city with wide streets, ornamental parks and Victorian buildings, located on the banks of the Clarence River. The city holds a Jacaranda Festival in November when the jacarandas which line almost every street are in full bloom.


= Ballina =

Ballina is a major town, attracting large numbers of retirees. It is located among sugarcane plantations at the mouth of the Richmond River. It is also holiday destination. A famous piece of kitsch, 'The Big Prawn' advertises Ballina as a desirable fishing spot. The Ballina bypass is set to be completed and opened to traffic by 2012.Fact|date=July 2008


= Tweed Heads =

Tweed Heads is the major commercial centre of the southern part of the Gold Coast, which extends as far south as Chinderah in NSW. It was known as a 'twin town' along with Coolangatta, Queensland before they coalesced with other towns to form the suburbia of the Gold Coast.


= Gold Coast =

Coolangatta to Beenleigh is within the city of Gold Coast. The city has a population of 500,000 and is Australia's sixth-largest city. The oceanside parts of the Gold Coast are characterised by high-rises, residential canal developments, a casino, theme parks, amusement parks and numerous tourist attractions, whilst its inland suburbs are leafy and well kept, looking much like the newer suburbia of other large Australian cities. The Gold Coast attracts tourists from around the world and is one of Australia's leading tourist destinations. Most of the city is bypassed by the Pacific Motorway (M1 Motorway) which continues to Logan City in Brisbane, where its designation becomes Metroad 3. From there, this section of the Pacific Motorway (known before 2003 as the South East Freeway) continues directly into Brisbane city centre. The Gold Coast Highway was very congested until the Tugun Bypass opened in June 2008 bypassing a badly traffic snarled section near the busy Gold Coast International Airport.

The former route of the Pacific Highway through the Gold Coast has been renamed as the Gold Coast Highway, and the former route of the highway from Logan to Woolloongabba in Brisbane is now Logan Road, which was the name it had prior to becoming part of the Pacific Highway in 1931.

See also

* Pacific Motorway
* Highways in Australia
* List of highways in New South Wales
* List of highways in Queensland
*

References

External links

* [http://rta.nsw.gov.au/constructionmaintenance/majorconstructionprojectsregional/pacifichighwayupgrade/roadworkinfo.html Weekly road conditions]
* [http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/trafficreports/northsydcameras/pacific_chats.html Live traffic camera - Pacific Hwy] at Chatswood in suburban Sydney


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